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Just saw this article.... "Fact or fiction: Could Shohei Ohtani be traded to Pittsburgh Pirates?"

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Fact or fiction: Could Shohei Ohtani be traded to Pittsburgh Pirates?

Pete Donovan
Special to The Desert Sun
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Yankees during the first inning on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Fact or fiction?  Or maybe fable?

    Let's begin with the facts: Shohei Ohtani is the most valuable player in baseball.  Nobody can do what he does.  He's an elite power hitter and one of the five best pitchers in the game.  He is a Gold mine in cleats. 

    He currently is working for the Angels on a one-year $30 million contract  That contract -- and the Angels control -- expires at the end of the season, making Ohtani the most-coveted free agent in history. 

    Another fact: Ohtani has expressed his desire to play for a winning organization, which the Angels sadly are not.


    So, do they trade him by mid-summer for a handful (boatful) of prospects or wait until he flees in the fall?

    Now, few teams can afford the kind of money Ohtani and his agents will require, somewhere around $500 million or more for likely 10 years (he's 28 this year).  Only baseball's behemoths like the Yankees, Mets and Dodgers can write a check that big --  although the Mariners, Padres and Cubs would like to be dealt a hand in that bidding war. 

    However, ALL teams can afford $15 million, the cost to rent Ohtani for the rest of the summer, should the Angels move him and restock their roster with prospects. 

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout (27) greets teammate Shohei Ohtani after they scored against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning on Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

    The talk has long been that the Dodgers will try to sign him as a free agent or trade for him in July.  Forget the trade talk, Angel owner Arte Moreno will not ship him up the Freeway.

    What about a team that is having a good, and surprising season?  Why not go there for three months and push that team into the playoffs and re-energize the entire franchise and city?  How about the Pittsburgh Pirates? 


    The once-proud Pirates have been dismal recently with two 100-loss seasons in 2021 and 2022.  Attendance is embarrassing for the franchise of the great Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner, Ralph Kiner and the Willie Stargell "We Are Family" teams.  They average 15,000 fans per game -- they would sell out every game Ohtani pitches and maybe some more when he is just clobbering home runs and stealing bases. The Pirates have four prospects listed in the Top 54 of all of baseball. Couldn't they, shouldn't they, wouldn't they ship two or three of them to the West Coast for a shot at the championship for the first time since 1979, a mere 44 years ago.

Hey, the Pirates were 20-8 after the weekend, the second-best record in baseball, but attendance continued to lag, placing them in last place among National League teams.  What a shot at the turnstile Ohtani would be!

Fact or Fiction?  Or Fable?  Pittsburgh Pirates, 2023 World Champions.

Pete Donovan is a Palm Desert resident and former Los Angeles Times sports reporter. He can be reached at pwdonovan22@yahoo.com


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5 hours ago, TroutField said:

Ohtani want to win so he would head to…. Pittsburgh ? 

after 3 months in Pennsylvania Ohtani might have zero problem running back to Orange County. This might work out, actually. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if he liked Pittsburgh significantly better than Orange County.

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1 hour ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

I wouldn’t be surprised if he liked Pittsburgh significantly better than Orange County.

He would hate Pittsburgh.    Everyone hates Pittsburgh.   Closed Steel mills, dirty snow, it's an armpit.  Plus they don't have any Japanese restaurants or people.

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10 hours ago, Swordsman78 said:

He would hate Pittsburgh.    Everyone hates Pittsburgh.   Closed Steel mills, dirty snow, it's an armpit.  Plus they don't have any Japanese restaurants or people.

Actually, Pittsburgh has bounced back rather well from their economy being destroyed when the steel industry went abroad. They did a much better job than some other similar major cities nearby did when they lost their industry. Pretty sure it is looked at as one of the better places to move for these reasons and cost of living. When I was there for a few years, much you said is true but now they even have good mexican food and plenty of sushi spots. 

With that said, the idea of Ohtani going there is ludicrous. 

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Well, IF he goes somewhere other than here, because we didn’t make the playoffs again (which I’m hoping isn’t the case) I just don’t want him going to any of these teams:  Doyers (enough said), Spankees (there’s no way he’d go to the evil empire, right?) Red Sux (I just can’t with anything Boston), Houston Trash Cans (ugh he can’t go to the cheaters! There’s no honor in that town!) Texass (imagine the legendary loser status of losing both Ryan and Ohtani here?) or Splooattle (as if Servais isn’t smug enough already)

Phillies, Cards, Pads and Giants are right behind but with much less venom.  Though seeing him with Fanny Fachado and Ringworm Tatis Jr would be a special kind of shitty too… only saving grace would be seeing the Doyers dethroned from owning the NL West.

I guess him going to a team that hasn’t been a winner for a while would soften the blow and allow me to continue to root for him and not hate him.  I can’t imagine not being a fan of his forever.  I can’t imagine him in another uniform, sucks to even consider!

He’s staying put in Anaheim dammit!

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On 5/3/2023 at 1:33 PM, Revad said:

I suppose it could happen.  I’m happy to see the Pirates do well and like their future assuming they hold on to the prospects.

Exactly why this won't happen. The Pirates aren't going to dump prospects for a partial season rental of Ohtani. Their scouting and development is finally beginning to bear fruit, and it would scuttle their efforts.

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