Okay, okay...everyone is hoping that their team is going to trade for Shohei Ohtani at the trade deadline and frankly, we get it. Ohtani is a generational talent that is an elite rotation arm and power bat with speed all rolled up into one player somehow. There isn't a player we can realistically compare him to in modern times and when you have to use the name "Babe Ruth" to give context to a guy's accomplishments, that is a pretty wild place to be.
Shohei is going to be the star of free agency this winter and is likely to sign the most expensive deal the sport has ever seen wherever he decides to sign. However, there are enough whispers floating around that the Angels know that they are not the favorites to sign Ohtani and that they are at least exploring their trade options to make us wonder: why not the Astros?
We are in uncharted territory here in terms of price when it comes to Ohtani. Sure, he is just "a rental", but he is also probably and simultaneously the best hitter and pitcher on the trade market if he is actually available. In a vacuum, it would probably require one big league player and a few prospects to even start negotiations.
However, the biggest problem for the Astros is that the world does not operate in a vacuum and Ohtani is currently playing for the Angels, a division rival. It is already unlikely that the Angels will move Ohtani at all because they don't want to go down in history as the team that traded him. To trade him to a division rival might lead to mass season ticket cancellations. That said, it is just for half a season and if the Angels get a big haul back for Shohei, they could take some solace in the fact that there is basically no chance Houston will be in play to sign Ohtani to a long-term deal.