In the blink of an eye, the LA Angels went from potential sellers to not trading Shohei Ohtani to making a blockbuster deal in what felt like a matter of minutes. On Wednesday night, a report came out they'd be keeping the their two-way star, and then they traded for White Sox pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.
Respect. The Angels are going all in, as they should with two of the game's best players. But perhaps the reason they're going all in isn't because of their owner or front office, if we're to believe another report that surfaced after all of this.
Apparently, Ohtani told the team that he preferred to remain with the Angels and attempt a playoff push over being traded. That's a stark difference from what many of us heard earlier in the year when it was said Ohtani wants to play for a winner!
Does he believe in what the Angels can do? Does he like Anaheim? Does he simply want to remain comfortable and not jump around the league before he becomes the most coveted free agent in baseball history?
It's a tad worrisome for Dodgers fans, though, because what if the Angels catch fire upon Trout's return and go on a run? Could that convince Ohtani to re-sign? Arte Moreno isn't afraid to spend, so this isn't too farfetched to ponder.
Dodgers Rumors: Could Angels playoff run spoil Shohei Ohtani's free agency?
We've done our fair share of laughing at the Angels over the years because of their countless failures and inability to make the playoffs once since 2014 with the best player on the planet ... and they've since failed to make the playoffs since 2018 with two of the best players on the planet. But the fun and games might be over.
Ohtani is playing out of his mind right now and leading the AL MVP race. The Angels, in one fell swoop, drastically improved their pitching staff while also stealing a couple of targets from the Dodgers. Trout just began running drills and is at least halfway through his recovery from a hand injury.
The Halos are 9-2 since the All-Star break and sit three games out of the Wild Card race. The Rays are slipping. The Astros aren't doing anything special. The Blue Jays, Red Sox and Yankees aren't exactly guarantees to maintain their current spot in the standings. With nine games against the Jays, Astros and Rays over the next three weeks, this could come into focus fast for the Angels. And all they have to do is sneak into the postseason -- that's what the expanded field is all about.
Dodgers fans have their own playoff run to worry about, but it's possible the AL playoff race drastically affects their once-in-a-lifetime free agency endeavor come November.