Shohei Ohtani reveals desire to play for LA Angels

TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 21: Shohei Otani
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 21: Shohei Otani /

LA Angels fans had something to cheer for on Sunday as Shohei Ohtani reportedly turned down the Yankees, leaving New York jilted and everyone in baseball stunned. Now that the biggest contender for Ohtani is out of the picture, the preferred landing spot for Ohtani is closer to confirmation. One of those teams? The LA Angels.

In the end; all the pomp, glamour, and pristine of the New York Yankees was not enough to land Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. The young international free agent has revealed his preferred landing spots for 2018.

The Cubs, Rangers, Dodgers, Mariners, Giants, Padres and the Angels.

Paired with the recent news that Ohtani prefers not be playing on the East Coast for a large market team is his short-list for landing spots. There are two major factors, likely game-breaking, in Ohtanis preferences.

  1. He wants to play on the West Coast with a smaller market team.
  2. He wants to play on a team with a little playoff history.

We all know Ohtani wants to create his own legacy and out of the seven teams on that list only two of them strike me as finalists. The Angels and the Rangers. Both teams have had short, but storied play-season histories. The Angels and their 2002 Championship and the Rangers heartbreaking run in the early 2010’s.

Ohtani holds a career ERA of 2.52 with the Nippon Ham-Fighter throughout 5 seasons and a offensive slash line of .286/.358/.500 and 48 HR’s in the same span. Given the Angels need for pitching and a better bat at DH this is a move that could potentially fill two major holes at once.

Ohtani will come to any team he chooses to at a relatively inexpensive rate, and for the Angels to cover major pitching and hitting holes with little financial investment it would be wise to dedicate all focus towards signing the young superstar. It’s not often a player of his caliber comes with youth, west coast desires, and small financial requirements.

Plus, you can’t blame him for wanting to avoid the East Coast when the city you respectfully turn down lashes out at you like so.