Shohei Ohtani is one of the best players in all of baseball. He brings a certain energy and buzz everywhere he goes and is a huge difference maker everywhere he goes. The New York Mets were linked to Shohei Ohtani in trade conversations, but they never got going at the trade deadline.
Mets general manager Billy Eppler was the Angels’ general manager when they won the Ohtani sweepstakes in December 2017, and Ohtani owes a lot of debts to Eppler for making his stint with the Angels happen, albeit one without a playoff appearance.
So let’s weigh in some of the pros and cons of the Mets trading for Ohtani this offseason.
1) Reason the Mets should trade for Shohei Ohtani: He has perhaps the mightiest swing in baseball, and he hits the ball hard consistently.
Ohtani’s 2021 American League MVP campaign at the plate can be described as legendary. He hit 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs, walked 96 times, and had an OPS of .965. His numbers and averages are down a tad from last year, but what’s not down is his ability to hit the ball really hard. He led the majors last year with 22.3 percent barrel rate. Even though it is down to 16.7 percent this season, that’s still good enough to be one of the most feared sluggers in all of baseball.
Ohtani also passes the eye test when you watch him swing the bat. He’s got such a balanced approach at the plate, while his stance allows him to open himself to hitting to all fields. He is one of the most difficult hitters to prepare for while you’re on defense because of that ability.
Also, Ohtani’s success has come while playing home games at a ballpark that’s not easy to hit home runs in, Angel Stadium in Anaheim. One could argue that Albert Pujols’ decline in production from St. Louis to Anaheim beginning in 2012 can be contributed to the spacious ballpark there. So Ohtani to the Mets could be a match made in heaven, especially with right field being a haven for home runs in the summer when a southwest wind kicks in.