Shohei Ohtani was denied a 40th homer of the season by Michael Harris II on Monday with the trade deadline looming.
Ohtani, who has been the center of speculation in the build-up to MLB’s August 1 trade deadline, appeared to have hit another home run in the LA Angels’ 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
However, the Japanese star was denied the home run by Braves center fielder Harris with a spectacular catch.
Harris perfectly timed his leap against the wall to snatch the ball, keeping it in the court, in the ninth inning during Monday night’s game.
Not only would it have been his 40th of the season, but it would also have been a three-run homer for Ohtani, who was instead caught off guard.
Shohei Ohtani was denied a 40th homer of the season in the Angels’ 4-1 win on Monday
Braves center fielder Michael Harris II made a sensational catch to keep the ball in court
The explosion traveled 406 feet with an exit velocity of 101.2 miles per hour, according to Statcast.
However, Angels fans need not despair as they are likely to witness another Ohtani home run in an LA uniform.
The trade deadline is 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, but the Angels will retain two-way star Ohtani unless they receive an offer they can’t refuse, a source confirmed to DailyMail.com last week.
The source added that if Ohtani leaves as a free agent, he would consider the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, who have quietly emerged as candidates for the former MVP.
Ohtani is in the final year of his contract before unrestricted free agency, and the Angels must decide whether to trade their generational superstar for a likely mother lode or risk the possibility of losing him for next to nothing in the winter.
However, it looks like the Angels are ready to take that gamble as they head into the MLB playoffs.
As the Halos close in on a Wild Card spot, a source has told DailyMail.com that unless the franchise receives an ‘absurd’ offer for the two-way star, they hope to keep Ohtani ahead of the playoffs. in the hope that he convinces him to stay.
“Unless the most absurd trade option falls in their lap, the Angels are interested and expected to keep Shohei on the team for the remainder of the season,” a source close to the Angels and Ohtani told DailyMail. com.
The Japanese star has been at the center of speculation as he prepares for the trade deadline
LA Angels (photo owner Arte Moreno) won’t trade Ohtani before MLB deadline
“The team wants to take the chance to convince him to sign a new contract to stay with the Angels. They would also like him to break records in an Angels jersey, especially the home run record, and not allow another team to reap those benefits.
“Ohtani is very unlikely to move teams this season. This will give him the chance to test out free agency where he can likely sign a long-term deal with any team worth over $600 million. of dollars.
The Japanese star will be in high demand if he tests the waters of free agency as expected and could land a contract worth $500 million.
The Yankees, Dodgers and Seattle Mariners were already expected to be suitors for Ohtani this offseason, but the source revealed to DailyMail.com that the Atlanta Braves have also emerged as potential suitors. .
“Shohei wants to win World Series rings, if he leaves the Angels in free agency at the end of the year, he would be very interested in playing with Seattle and Atlanta and would, of course, give the Dodgers and Yankees a chance. to convince him to play with them,” they said.
“Although many think he’s long gone after this season, the Angels still have some clout in his eyes to keep him, Shohei is a very loyal guy.”
Recently, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the New York Yankees are the “most motivated” to trade for Ohtani, while LA Times’ Jorge Castillo reported that the The Dodgers are considered the favorites to sign him this summer.
The Angels show their love for the Japanese star by urging the franchise to keep him to one game
Ohtani’s free agency this offseason was the buzz of the All-Star Game earlier this month
But Seattle fans made an impassioned plea for Ohtani during his All-Star game in Emerald City earlier this month.
Ohtani is making $30 million this season in his final year in control of the Angels team. He’s been at Anaheim for six seasons since picking the club for his move from Japan in late 2017, but the Angels have yet to make the playoffs or even post a winning record during his tenure alongside Mike Trout. .
The MLB trade deadline is August 1. If the Angels don’t move Ohtani, they could only get a compensatory draft pick if he signs with another team as a free agent.
His agent, Naz Balelo, indicated in February that Ohtani will likely go to free agency to determine his future, rather than signing an extension in 2023.