The Los Angeles Angels, having lost Shohei Ohtani to their in-state rival, would seem to have entered a new era as the 2024 baseball season is upon us. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Tempe, Arizona very soon, and LA will be looking to surprise the masses as they return to the field without the reigning AL MVP.
With Ohtani out the door, and Mike Trout struggling to stay healthy, the window is beginning to open for the young crop of Angels players to begin to put down some roots and establish themselves as key pieces of the franchise moving forward.
This time of the year is typically when contract extensions are hammered out. Impending free agents and up-and-coming prospects may get a visit from their club's GM as the two sides look to work out a deal ahead of the upcoming season. Which three Angels players could be in line for a contract extension this spring?
3 players the LA Angels should sign to a contract extension
Logan O'Hoppe has some work ahead of him on the defensive side, but the 24-year-old is certainly a threat in the batters' box. O'Hoppe, despite a shoulder injury last season, was able to play over 50 games and show why the Angels were so high on him.
O'Hoppe was, of course, the return from the Brandon Marsh trade in 2022, when LA's front office sent the former outfielder to the Philadelphia Phillies. The trade seems to have worked out well for both sides; Marsh has carved out a nice role in Philly, while O'Hoppe is slated to the QB1 for the Halos in 2024.
A bat-first catcher is not the easiest thing to find, and when a team is fortunate enough to stumble across one, it's wise to keep them in the fold for as long as possible. And while O'Hoppe certainly could stand to improve his defense behind the dish and pitch recognition, the power is something that's unteachable. The Angels backstop hit 14 homers and posted a .500 slugging percentage last season.
Aside from Elias Diaz and Danny Jansen, there aren't any top-shelf catchers who are slated to hit the open market next offseason. The Angels' best catching prospects (Alberto Rios and Dario Laverde) are years away from making it to The Show. If the Angels can buy out O'Hoppe's arbitration years and tack on some team options, it could be a mutually beneficial contract extension for both the team and the player.