Don’t give Los Angeles Dodgers fans anything to run with … cause they’ll take off and make it a national phenomenon!
It’s not like it’s a result of delusion, either. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has given the organization’s fans a reason to he hopeful about … anything. Nothing is too big or unattainable for the Dodgers. And even if it is, he’ll find some under-the-radar gold to make up for it.
As many can imagine, having the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium didn’t exactly help with those sky-high expectations from the fan base.
Washington Nationals wunderkind Juan Soto — who’s been the subject of trade rumors in recent days (what timing!) — was in town. So was Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo, Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, Orioles reliever Jorge Lopez, among others. Dodgers fans want all of ’em!
Then there was Shohei Ohtani, leading off for the American League side. Earlier in the year, a few columns were written about the possibility of the Angels hypothetically exploring trades for the two-way star, but there’s been no traction on that front or any clarity since a few insiders merely pondered the topic — outside of ESPN proposing this INSANE deal between the LA teams.
For Dodgers fans, though? Might as well make it a reality because Ohtani told the world that Dodger Stadium is one of his favorite places to play.
Shohei Ohtani’s comments may have inadvertently excited Dodgers fans about a trade
The reality of the Ohtani-Angels situation is that LA still lacks so many necessary pieces before they can even imagine contending. Ohtani and Mike Trout clearly aren’t enough to get them to the postseason.
With Ohtani’s contract expiring after 2022 and him being eligible for arbitration for the 2023 season before he hits free agency, it’s not exactly insane for the Angels to see what they might be able to get for 1.5 years of the best player in baseball.
The Dodgers clearly have the necessary assets to make it happen, especially if they’re rumored to be in the Soto sweepstakes (he’ll be worth more because he has 2.5 years of control), but outside of Ohtani enjoying Dodger Stadium and hyping up the All-Star Game crowd with a response to a question in English before his first at-bat (which resulted in a hit off Clayton Kershaw), there’s a whole lot of nothing here outside of loose speculation due to the Angels’ horrid situation.
That won’t stop the fan chatter though. And you know what? Maybe the Dodger faithful just speak it into existence. It happened with Freddie Freeman this past offseason. It happened with Max Scherzer last year.
Like we said, nothing’s impossible with this front office. But this (or Soto) would be Friedman’s biggest coup yet in a field of more hungry contenders. That’ll just make it all the sweeter when he actually pulls it off, though.