What’s Shohei Ohtani’s trade value? A look at what contenders have in their farm systems

Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani during a game against the New York Yankees.
Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani during a game against the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium on Tuesday.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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The Angels have less than two weeks left to decide what they will do by the Aug. 1 trade deadline — namely, what happens with Shohei Ohtani.

The Angels’ two-way star, who is scheduled to pitch Friday, has no comparison — which only adds intrigue to his possible trade value.

Although it’s unlikely Ohtani will be traded by the deadline, it’s interesting to see how it could play out. The payoff would need to be immediate as Ohtani would likely be going to a playoff-contending, championship-caliber team and his unique status will make his absence from the Angels significant. Based on Ohtani’s looming free agency after this season, the team that acquires him would benefit in the short term but also get a jump on being able to sign him to a longer deal.


Multiple high-ranking prospects would likely be in the conversation for a potential trade, at least based on previous trades of other big stars approaching free agency. The Dodgers, for example, sent a top-100 prospect, two of their own top-30 prospects and two other prospects to the Baltimore Orioles for shortstop Manny Machado in 2018.

The Angels currently have only two players listed in MLB’s top-100 prospects list, both catchers: Logan O’Hoppe, who was in the majors this season but has been out since late April after labrum surgery; and Edgar Quero, a double A standout whose bat has continued to make waves in the minors. The Angels came into the season with the 28th-ranked farm system among all teams, so an improvement in that aspect of the organization wouldn’t hurt.

The Dodgers, thought to be a top contender for Ohtani in free agency, would have plenty to offer with eight players listed among the top-100 prospects, along with having the second-best farm system in MLB this season. That said, the Dodgers are thought to be unlikely trade partners for the Angels.

The rivalry isn’t big enough to prevent the Angels from sending Shohei Ohtani to the Dodgers, who can offer more high-end prospects than anyone else.

July 18, 2023

If trading prospects is the name of the game, here are what some non-Dodgers playoff-contending teams with top-10 farm systems have available as far as top prospects, if they wanted to mull a trade for Ohtani.

(All rankings from, teams listed by farm system ranking.)


Baltimore Orioles (58-37, tied for first in AL East)

Orioles outfielder Colton Cowser jogs off the field during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins on July 16.
Orioles outfielder Colton Cowser was recently called up to the majors.
(Terrance Williams / Associated Press)

Farm system ranking: 1
Top-100 prospects: 8

No. 1 Jackson Holliday, shortstop, in double A
No. 12 Colton Cowser, outfielder, in MLB
No. 30 Jordan Westburg, infielder, in MLB
No. 36 Heston Kjerstad, outfielder, in triple A
No. 63 Joey Ortiz, shortstop/second baseman, in triple A
No. 66 Connor Norby, second baseman/outfielder, in triple A
No. 75 Coby Mayo, third baseman, in triple A
No. 97 Samuel Basallo, catcher, in low A

Comment: A nonroster invite to Orioles’ spring camp and a Futures Game invite, Holliday has continued to impress this year. He was promoted to double A last week, logging eight hits, including two doubles, in his first four games.


Arizona Diamondbacks (54-42, tied for second in NL West)

Diamondbacks first round draft pick Druw Jones throws out the first pitch prior to a game against the Nationals in July 2022.
Diamondbacks first round MLB draft pick Druw Jones throws out the first pitch prior to a game against the Nationals in July 2022. Jones is the son of Andruw Jones, who played for five teams in a 17-year MLB career.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Farm system ranking: 3
Top-100 prospects: 3

No. 5 Jordan Lawlar, shortstop, in double A
No. 13 Druw Jones, outfielder, low A
No. 21 Brandon Pfaadt, right-handed pitcher, in triple A

Comment: Also a nonroster invite to a big league camp and Futures Game player in 2023, Lawlar has 13 homers in 69 games in double A.

The Angels say they don’t want to trade Shohei Ohtani, but offers soon could change their mind. Here’s what some stars were worth in deals during their walk years.

July 14, 2023


Tampa Bay Rays (60-39, tied for first in AL East)

Rays third baseman Curis Mead throws to first base during spring training on Feb. 28.
Rays prospect Curis Mead, throwing to first base after fielding a ground ball during a spring training game on Feb. 28, recently had his first career five-hit game in triple A.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)


Farm system ranking: 6
Top-100 prospects: 4

No. 14 Junior Caminero, third/second baseman, in double A
No. 23 Carson Williams, shortstop, in high A
No. 32 Curtis Mead, third/second baseman, in triple A
No. 38 Kyle Manzardo, first baseman, in triple A

Comment: Caminero has quickly risen through the ranks of the Rays’ minor league system. He started last year in rookie ball, getting promoted to double A at the end of May this year and being invited to play in the Futures Game. He’s batting .286 with an .800 OPS in 34 games in double A.


Texas Rangers (58-39, first in AL West)

Rangers reliever Owen White pitches against the Angels on June 13 in Arlington, Texas.
Rangers reliever Owen White pitches against the Angels on June 13 in Arlington, Tex.
(Gareth Patterson / Associated Press)

Farm system ranking: 7
Top-100 prospects: 5

No. 6 Evan Carter, outfielder, double A
No. 44 Owen White, right-handed pitcher (starter), in triple A
No. 45 Luisangel Acuña, shortstop/second baseman, in double A
No. 61 Brock Porter, right-handed pitcher (starter), in low A
No. 90 Jack Leiter, right-handed pitcher (starter), in double A

Comment: Carter was a nonroster invite to big league camp, beginning his season in double A. In June he was briefly put on the development list for rest purposes after experiencing a hand injury earlier in the year, per’s Kennedi Landry, then returned to double A. He’s batting .299 with an .883 OPS.

It’s painful, but Bill Plaschke argues the Angels have no chance of retaining Shohei Ohtani and must trade him to get as much as possible in return.

July 8, 2023