Arbella Early Edition

Should Red Sox trade for Ohtani? Tomase and Perry debate

"This would be the biggest needle mover maybe in the history of Boston sports."

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The greatest talent in baseball history could be available on the trade market ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline.

The Los Angeles Angels could part ways with Shohei Ohtani if their season continues to go south. Ohtani is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this winter, so it would make sense for the Angels to get a haul for their two-way superstar rather than let him walk for nothing.

If Ohtani is made available in trade talks, there will be a number of clubs ringing Angels general manager Perry Minasian's phone off the hook. Should the Boston Red Sox, who are 48-43 and two games back in the Wild Card race at the All-Star break, be one of them? What should they offer the Angels for the 2021 American League MVP?

Our John Tomase and Phil Perry shared their takes on Monday's "Early Edition."

"He's a rental, so not very much," Tomase said. "He's not going to stay. If the Angels want Jarren Duran and some prospects, sure, I'll do that. But I'm not trading Brayan Bello. I'm not trading (No. 1 prospect) Marcelo Meyer. I'm not trading a combination of those guys with Duran.

"It's just, it's foolishness. You're a last-place team. Yes, you're five games over .500. You're playing OK. You're not gonna convince him to come here, so I'm not blowing it all up for three months of Shohei Ohtani."

Perry wasn't having any of Tomase's negativity. He believes acquiring Ohtani would be a franchise-altering move and could help Boston's chances of signing him in the offseason.

"We're talking about a team that needs a needle-moving kind of move, and this would be the biggest needle mover maybe in the history of Boston sports -- I don't think I'm exaggerating there -- if they were to get him here and convince him to stay," Perry said. "And that has happened before. Kevin Garnett didn't want to be here. He got here, and guess what? He loved it.

"It's a great sports town. And until you're here and until you experience it, you don't really understand what it's like. So I would be willing to give up Marcelo Mayer. Let's just do it. Because I think this is what would change the trajectory of your team. If you don't do something like this, this kind of needle-moving acquisition, who are you for the next 10 years? You're stuck in this purgatory."

As exciting as it is to think about Ohtani in a Red Sox uniform, it's unlikely chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will trade the future of the franchise for a rental -- even a once-in-a-lifetime talent. The front office has made it clear its goal is to build for the future while staying competitive in the present. An Ohtani trade would deplete the farm system, and a trip to the playoffs would still be far from a guarantee in the loaded American League.

Although an Ohtani deal probably isn't the cards, the Red Sox could still be among the more active teams ahead of the deadline. If they opt to sell, they have a number of trade chips at their disposal including veteran southpaw James Paxton and slugging outfielder Adam Duvall. But if they stay hot after the break, Bloom should look to add pieces that can help them make a playoff push without giving up the future.

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