2) Were the Angels seriously considered by Shohei Ohtani before he signed with the Dodgers?
Shohei Ohtani attempted to keep everything quiet when it came to his free agency process. He was extremely successful in doing so for the most part, but was far from perfect. Several things trickled out both before and after he signed with the Dodgers.
We know that the Blue Jays turned out to be major players. They met with him in Florida and were at least a team Ohtani seriously considered. We know that the Giants were willing to match the Dodgers' incredible offer in order to bring him to San Francisco. When it comes to the Angels, we know absolutely nothing. We know they were considered finalists, but heard nothing throughout the whole process.
Did the Angels ever meet with him? Did they ask and he said no? Did they ever get to make him an offer? Would they match the $700 million the Dodgers offered? There's so much we'd like to know that we just don't because Ohtani and the Angels love to keep things under wraps.
Whether the Angels actually stood a chance is something only Ohtani and the organization knows. My best guess is they'd be willing to match the Dodgers offer for Shohei, especially with the deferred payments. By the time Moreno would have to pay the ridiculous parts of Ohtani's deal, he likely would have the team sold. The question is if Ohtani would've considered them.
We know how much Ohtani values things like routine and comfort. We know he's loyal, at least to an extent. We also know that the Angels didn't win or even come close to winning anything with Ohtani here. With a weak farm system and a subpar MLB roster, it's hard to see this team winning anything anytime soon even with Ohtani. Still, the Angels must've done something right if they were "finalists", right?