After reportedly being “out” on Washington Nationals outfielder, Juan Soto, Mets general manager, Billy Eppler, does his due diligence by contacting the Los Angeles Angels in regards to the availability of Japanese two-way sensation, Shoehi Ohtani.
(Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports)
I must preface this by saying that the Angels have expressed that they have no intent to trade Ohtani, but are still fielding phone calls from other teams. When you’re 42-58, and 23.5 games behind in your division, it would be asinine to not at least listen to offers for your superstars. The Angels are going nowhere fast, and dealing Ohtani could get them back on track to potentially compete within the next few years.
The New York Mets are clearly in the market for another quality bat as we head into the postseason, as they’ve traded for Pittsburgh Pirates’ Daniel Vogelbach and Cincinnati Reds' Tyler Naquin, and pitcher, Phillip Diehl. New York's bullpen is also in need of some strengthening.
The Mets starting rotation as of right now is solidified. Jacob deGrom is set to make his season debut on Wednesday, Max Scherzer has been dominant since returning from the IL, Chris Bassitt has been as advertised since signing with the Mets over the offseason, Taijuan Walker has put up solid numbers, and Carlos Carrasco has been reliable in his last three starts against San Diego, the Cubs, and Miami.
Ohtani would obviously be a welcomed addition to the rotation and the lineup, as he would be on any team. A three-headed monster of deGrom, Scherzer and Ohtani would be lights out. A top-of-the-order punch of Ohtani, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, and Jeff McNeil would strike fear into the heart of any pitcher in the league. Who’s beating the Mets in a best-of-7 series with that roster?
It is also worth mentioning that Ohtani could very well feel right at home in Flushing, as Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, with 42.7% of its population being born outside of the US. Not only that, but Billy Eppler’s relationship with Ohtani is what helped bring the star to Los Angeles in the first place during Eppler's time as Angels GM.
Sadly though, I don’t think the Mets will be acquiring Ohtani, at least not at this year's deadline. We can sit here and dream and speculate all we want, but what kind of contending GM would Eppler be if he didn’t at least reach out to see what the Angels’ asking price would be? Los Angeles is asking for just as much, if not more, than the Washington Nationals are asking for Juan Soto.
The Mets were unwilling to give up multiple top prospects and established major leaguers for Soto, so with that being said, I think they’re most likely out on Ohtani too.
Still, a man can dream, can’t he?