Losing Shohei Ohtani in free agency is and was always the worst possible outcome for this Los Angeles Angels franchise. Let me make that abundantly clear. Losing the best player in the world right now and maybe in the history of this sport for nothing more than a compensatory pick after the second round is an utter disaster.
The Angels had many chances to trade him and refused to do so every time. Imagine what the Dodgers, a team that just gave him $700 million, would've traded to get their hands on him before free agency. That's something the Angels will regret for a very long time.
Ohtani leaving is a disaster, but there are still some positives that open up from it. Is this just me coping? Sure. But these are
1) The LA Angels will not need a six-man rotation anymore
Outside of the 2022 season, the Angels failed consistently to build a starting rotation capable of winning. The biggest reason for that is because they needed a six-man rotation to accomodate Shohei Ohtani. The Angels would have three or four solid starters most years but the rotation would just fall apart at the back end.
Player development has been a huge issue for the longest time in this franchise, and coupling that with Arte Moreno's refusal to go into the luxury tax gives you a subpar starting rotation. Sure, Ohtani was mostly always excellent, but the Angels would have to go cheap the rest of the way to stay under the tax. The cheap pitchers they developed have not developed as nicely as they had hoped.
This past season it looked like the Angels finally had built a solid six-man rotation, but then everyone regressed. Even Shohei took a step back in 2023. The Tyler Anderson signing was a disaster, and the young arms failed to replicate their success from 2022.
Building a five-man rotation is hard enough. Having six quality starters is even harder, and something the Angels could never seem to figure out. Thankfully, they won't have to do that with Ohtani gone (barring a Yoshinbobu Yamamoto signing).