The Los Angeles Angels’ chances of keeping Shohei Ohtani past this season are slim to none according to one MLB insider.
The MLB hasn’t seen a star of Shohei Ohtani’s stature and caliber in a long time. Ohtani’s contract with the Los Angeles Angels expires at the end of the season and the logical question is: what’s next?
Many have speculated that LA will try to trade Ohtani, rather than risk losing him for nothing in the winter. Others have pitched the idea of keeping it together for one final push. If the Angels can grab the wild card spot and finally make noise in the postseason, maybe the odds of Ohtani sticking around improve.
Well, the Angels are currently 33-30, which places them several games behind their AL wild card competitors: Baltimore (37-24), New York (36-26), Houston (36-26), and Toronto (35-28) are all ahead of LA with only three spots available.
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the chances of Ohtani sticking with the Angels beyond the 2023 season are virtually zilch.
MLB insider dismisses Los Angeles Angels’ chances of re-signing Shohei Ohtani
“No, I don’t think there’s a chance,” utters Rosenthal to the great dismay of the Los Angeles-by-way-of-Anaheim faithful. Ohtani is expected to become the highest-paid player in MLB history next season. That Angels face an uphill battle a) convincing him to stay and b) shelling out enough dough to make it happen.
That means Ohtani could be on the move before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, especially if the Angels lose ground in the wild card race over the next six weeks. Teams like the Mets, Dodgers, and Red Sox will naturally pop up as potential destinations. He’s a big-market player and the big markets always have the financial advantage.
The Angels continue to broadcast a desire to keep Ohtani and compete for his first career playoff berth, but what gets put into the public sphere and what actually happens behind the scenes are often very different. If the Angels don’t feel great about their chances of keeping Ohtani in free agency, it would frankly be reckless to not at least consider what the trade market can offer.
Ohtani is in the middle of another historic season for the Angels. He’s slashing .275/.353/.551 at the plate with 16 home runs and 42 RBIs. On the mound, he has a 3.30 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 12 starts (5-2 record). Any team would be lucky to have him, but it doesn’t sound like that team will be the Angels once the calendar flips to 2024.