Shohei Ohtani greets Dodgers' Mookie Betts on the field.
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Shohei Ohtani Will Be Traded to the Dodgers, If History is Any Indication

The Dodgers have a history of making "the move" at the trade deadline, and Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani should be next.

The Los Angeles Dodgers don't wait around. At every MLB trade deadline, the Blue Crew makes a splashy move — never afraid to take on salary in order to trade for a star who can help win a World Series.

That's exactly what it will do before the clock strikes 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 1. And who is the player who will head across town and change colors from red to blue? Shohei Ohtani.

Why? Let history explain.

The Dodgers Have a History of Making 'The Move'

Manny Machado holds up his fingers while rounding the bases for the Dodgers.

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Some teams just have a propensity for making splashy moves at the trade deadline. The Dodgers do that better than anyone.

In the last decade, Los Angeles has made impactful deal after impactful deal when July and August roll around. There was Alex Wood in 2015, Rich Hill in 2016, Yu Darvish in 2017 and then two monster deals: acquiring Manny Machado in 2018 and Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in 2021. Go back more years, and fans might remember the Adrian Gonzalez-Carl Crawford-Josh Beckett acquisition in 2013 or the Manny Ramirez trade in 2008.

But here's the thing: Ohtani isn't your normal star. He is a six-tool player, one who is mashing home runs more than any player in baseball while also throwing 100 mph on the mound. He is arguably the most talented player the game has ever seen, in the middle of what could be the best season in baseball history.

Stars like the 29-year-old Ohtani aren't traded often. Since 2008, 15 players were traded at the deadline or midseason and finished with more than 5 WAR (wins above replacement) that season. FanGraphs tells us that players rated between 5-6 WAR are "superstars" and that anything over 6 WAR is "MVP" level. Six of those players headed out west in trades — three to the Dodgers, two to the Angels and one to Oakland. And it's the Dodgers who've made half of the last four of those trades.

"Superstar" Players Traded Midseason Who Finished With 5+ WAR, Since 2008

  • 2021: Trea Turner traded from Nationals to Dodgers, Starling Marte traded from Marlins to Athletics
  • 2019: Zack Greinke traded from Diamondbacks to Astros
  • 2018: Manny Machado traded from Orioles to Dodgers
  • 2015: Yoenis Cespedes traded from Tigers to Mets, David Price traded from Tigers to Blue Jays
  • 2014: David Price traded from Rays to Tigers
  • 2012: Zack Greinke traded from Brewers to Angels
  • 2011: Doug Fister traded from Mariners to Tigers
  • 2010: Cliff Lee traded from Mariners to Rangers
  • 2009: Cliff Lee traded from Indians to Phillies, Matt Holliday traded from Athletics to Cardinals
  • 2008: CC Sabathia traded from Indians to Brewers, Manny Ramirez traded from Red Sox to Dodgers, Mark Teixeira traded from Braves to Angels

If history tells us something, it's that the Dodgers appear the team most likely to land Ohtani. Sure, he's a rental that they'll have to pay some $10 million for the rest of the season before he hits free agency. But Ohtani in Hollywood is a movie the Dodgers ownership should be ecstatic to make, even if for jersey sales alone. And a leg up in the Ohtani sweepstakes this offseason could make it worth it, too.

Los Angeles also seems well-equipped to make an offer.

The Dodgers Have the Means to Acquire Ohtani

Diego Cartaya participates in the 2022 Futures Game.

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This is an unprecedented player and situation. That makes any of our "trade proposals" simply speculation. But the Dodgers have as loaded of a farm system right now as any team, if the Angels are looking for prospects.

The Dodgers currently have eight of the top 100 prospects in MLB, according to MLB Pipeline. They include catcher Diego Cartaya (19), infielder Michael Busch (34), catcher Dalton Rushing (47) and pitcher Gavin Stone (49). If the Angels want all of them, Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes should absolutely pull the trigger.

Last year, Gomes' splashiest trade was for Joey Gallo at the deadline. This year, what better way for the new GM to make his mark and land the greatest player on the planet, one whose international marketability is infinite?

Would the Angels even do a deal with the crosstown Dodgers? It's not likely. But these two teams were almost trade partners in 2020 before Angels owner Arte Moreno nixed a three-team deal that would've sent Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Angels. So to that I say: Never say never.

Look, there are other trade partners that also make sense. The Rays have prospects and could use a superstar like Ohtani (who couldn't?). The Orioles are also rich in young talent and are in first place for the first time in what feels like a century. Any team with a positive record should be in on Ohtani, for that matter.

But a look at the past tells me that if the Angels do move Ohtani, he won't be going very far.

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