ESPN Floats Shohei Ohtani to Twins Trade

Photo: Mary Schwalm – AP

Major League Baseball trade fodder is everywhere, right now. On Thursday, the Minnesota Twins were linked by local insiders, to Cincinnati Reds’ starting pitcher, Tyler Mahle. Today, at first glance, it even appears that Friday night happy hour may have started early over at ESPN headquarters.

Shohei Ohtani Floated to Twins

In a trade deadline speculation piece that released on ESPN+ ($$$) this morning, LA Angels superstar pitcher/hitter, Shohei Ohtani was floated to the Twins. Yes, that Shohei Ohtani. The best player in baseball. Of course, this isn’t a “report”, by any means. Still, Shohei’s fit in Minnesota makes a lot of sense…

Why should big markets get to have all the fun? The Minnesota Twins are all-in after signing Carlos Correa. They need a No. 1 starter but also could use an everyday DH to plug into the middle of their lineup. This move, along with additional moves to deepen the bullpen, would make Minnesota a very dangerous team in the playoffs this season and next. Of course, the Twins need to get to the playoffs first, and with Ohtani on board, that would help them finally gain some separation in the AL Central race. After next season, when Ohtani hits free agency, then the big-market teams can get another crack.Bradford Doolittle (ESPN)

Again, this trade deadline article from ESPN was done for fun speculation purposes only. But there’s a reason why Bradford Doolittle picked the Twins. Yes, the likelihood Ohtani to Minnesota actually happens is probably zero.

What would it take, speculatively speaking?

It’s not just about fit; or how, in one fell swoop, Shohei Ohtani would fix nearly every issue the Twins currently face. Falvey has trade weapons at his disposal that would immediately make Angels fans feel a tiny bit better about losing one of the greatest baseball talents in the sport’s history.

And if it’s true that — injury-prone Alex Kirilloff + Royce Lewis (another blown ACL) + Josh Winder — would be enough return capital to land Ohtani, then Derek Falvey should pick up the phone to seal this deal immediately. The 28-year-old two-way player is under arbitration control through the 2023 season.

Minnesota has good depth in the pitching prospects the Angels need (Josh Winder for starters) but can also offer up near-ready position talent like Alex Kirilloff and the currently injured Royce Lewis from position groups where the Twins have decent coverage. Maybe they can expand the prospect pool just a little and get Noah Syndergaard from the Halos as well. I need to see this happen.Bradford Doolittle

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan