Why the St. Louis Cardinals May Trade for Shohei Ohtani

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 22: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on July 22, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 22: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on July 22, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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ST LOUIS, MO – JUNE 23: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim bats against the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on June 23, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO – JUNE 23: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim bats against the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on June 23, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Ohtani makes St. Louis World Series contenders

Let’s talk about the season Shohei Ohtani is having right now. On the mound, Ohtani has an ERA of 2.80 with 134 SO in 93.1 innings of work, earning an All-Star appearance for his pitching prowess and is in the conversation for the American League Cy Young.

At the plate, Ohtani is slashing .257/.352/.492 with 21 HR and 59 RBI, and was the starting DH for the American League All-Star team this season. After winning MVP in 2021, Ohtani is fighting tooth and nail with Aaron Judge for the award again in 2022.

So, when considering acquiring Ohtani, you are not just adding one superstar slugger or one front line ace. You are adding an Cy Young and MVP level bat to your lineup in the same move, something that has never been done before, outside of the Yankees acquiring Babe Ruth.

For St. Louis, the opportunity to add Ohtani, who would be the best pitcher available in a trade, to the top of their rotation is reason enough to make this kind of move. Ohtani, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright, and a healthy Jack Flaherty could stack up with any rotation in baseball, and takes a ton of the stress and pressure off of the rest of their staff.

Not only does Ohtani give St. Louis the ace they are starving to have, but they also get to acquire the left-handed slugger they have been looking for in the form of Soto. Ohanti is not the same level hitter Soto is, but he’s not far of. Last season, Ohtani had a .965 OPS with 46 HR and 100 RBI, and has heated up for the Angels as the 2022 season has gone on.

Imagine going into a playoff game with Ohtani on the mound, and then facing Ohtani, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and company for 9 innings. St. Louis instantly goes from fringe playoff team to World Series contender with the addition of just one player.

Grabbing Ohtani now means at least one more season with him in 2023 as well, and with the Cardinals recent history in trading for superstars, he could enjoy his time in St. Louis enough to resign with the club after 2023. Even if he walks, Ohtani puts the Cardinals in position to win a World Series that even Soto can’t do for them.

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