The recent MLB trade deadline had everyone talking about whether Shohei Ohtani, the two-way superstar, would be traded by the Angels in exchange for a promising lineup of prospects. The buzz around this topic was immense, with many wondering if the Angels’ strategy was sound.
Amidst all the speculations, the Angels ultimately defied expectations by deciding to keep Ohtani on their roster and continue their pursuit of a playoff spot. However, as the second half of the season kicked off, the Angels faced challenges that cast doubt on the wisdom of this decision. Questions arose about whether retaining Ohtani was a worthy gamble, especially considering the lucrative offers that were on the table.
While many were skeptical, one MLB insider supported the Angels’ call. Nonetheless, as the shadow of free agency looms, a new challenge emerges: Can the Angels successfully outbid other MLB teams vying for Shohei Ohtani’s talents?
Regrettably, the answer to this question appears to be in the negative. Despite the Angels’ desire to build their team around Ohtani and anchor him in Los Angeles, there’s a cloud of uncertainty. This uncertainty stems from the fact that the players brought in by the Angels at the trade deadline, although contributing to their current efforts, are all on expiring contracts. Consequently, if they opt for free agency, the Angels might find themselves facing significant player turnover.
“Los Angeles Angels GM Perry Minasian absolutely made the right call keeping Shohei Ohtani and adding at the trade deadline in hopes of staying in the wild-card race.
If they don’t make it, at least they tried, while also keeping alive their chances of signing Ohtani.
If they had no interest in bidding for Ohtani, they would have moved him.”
via Bob Nightengale USA Today
As the spotlight turns to Shohei Ohtani, it becomes evident that he could remain in the same roster configuration from before the trade deadline if he chooses to renew his contract with the Angels. The question then arises: What is the allure of this scenario if the Angels don’t clinch a playoff spot?
The Angels missed a golden opportunity to potentially secure the most expensive rental deal in MLB history while simultaneously bolstering their farm system. Their current farm system boasts just one player, Logan O’Hoppe, within the top 100 prospects – a prospect soon to graduate off the list. This lack of depth poses a concern for building a robust and sustainable team in the long run.
In the grand scheme of things, the Angels’ decision to retain Shohei Ohtani raises questions about their long-term strategy. Will their choice to forgo trading Ohtani come back to haunt them in the years to come, particularly when it comes to cultivating young talent for their minor leagues? Only time will reveal the full impact of this decision on both Ohtani’s career and the Angels’ aspirations.