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What would the Mets need to give up in a Shohei Ohtani trade?

As rumors continue to swirl around Shohei Ohtani’s future with the Angels ahead of the trade deadline, we look at how the Mets might be able to land the presumptive MVP.

Kevin Parada of the New York Mets looks on during a minor league spring training game against the Houston Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 18, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida.ts v Houston Astros minor leaguers Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The trade deadline is now just over a week away, and one question is on the minds of every contending team: Will the Los Angeles Angels really deal two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani? It seemed unfathomable just a month or so ago, and it’s still hard to see it happening as long as the team hangs on to even a sliver of hope in the AL playoff picture (this week’s sweep of the New York Yankees certainly helped on that front).

But with L.A. still three back in the loss column of the final Wild Card spot — and with a 13.2% chance to make the postseason, per Fangraphs — it’s not inconceivable that one bad week could have the team changing course. At the very least, they appear to be preparing for the possibility:

So we’ll prepare for it too. We’ve already ranked the most likely landing spots in the event that Ohtani gets dealt, and now we’re going to take a look at what the teams toward the top of that list would have to give up in order to land the presumptive AL MVP. Any Ohtani trade would inevitably be a delicate dance — as amazing as he is, he’s also headed for free agency this winter, which is sure to dampen his value at least a bit — but let’s see what we can come up with.

Next up: The New York Mets, who haven’t put together the second-half run that would mark them as clear buyers but who nonetheless loom as potential players for Ohtani — never put anything past Steve Cohen, after all. Would Ohtani want to sign a long-term deal on the East Coast? With the Mets buried in the NL Wild Card standings, would Cohen sacrifice future value in order to acquire Ohtani now rather than waiting to sign him over the winter? Cohen is desperate to eclipse the Yankees in New York, and the Mets have enough talent to talk yourselves into them making a run with Ohtani in the fold, so let’s look at what a deal might look like. (All prospect rankings courtesy of MLB Pipeline.)

Potential Shohei Ohtani trades: Texas Rangers

Trade #1

Mets get: Shohei Ohtani
Angels get: C Kevin Parada (No. 1 org prospect, No. 40 overall), SS Ronny Mauricio (No. 2 org prospect, No. 57 overall), RHP Blade Tidwell (No. 5 org prospect), RHP Mike Vasil (No. 8 org prospect)

Parada and Mauricio are both very promising prospects, but both of them are blocked by other building blocks (Francisco Alvarez, Francisco Lindor and Brett Baty, respectively) in New York — making them expendable in a deal. The Angels have long been desperate for young pitching — Reid Detmers is just about the only MLB-quality starter they’ve developed in years — and this deal gives them both long-term upside (Tidwell) and promixity to the Majors (Vasil, pitching well in Triple-A).

Trade #2

Mets get: Shohei Ohtani, Anthony Rendon
Angels get: 3B Brett Baty, SS Ronny Mauricio, C Kevin Parada

Of course, if the Angels do deal Ohtani, that would trigger a full-on rebuild — and a desire to get out from under the albatross that is Rendon’s contract. Cohen’s Mets are uniquely suited to absorb the nearly $115 million remaining on his deal after this season, and doing so could allow New York to offer a lesser package in return. In this scenario, Rendon becomes New York’s starting third baseman, while Baty — who still holds value around the league but has struggled a bit at the plate and in the field this season — gives the Angels another building block for the future.