The Los Angeles Angels have a massive offseason ahead of them. The team just wrapped up its eighth consecutive losing season in spectacular fashion, going all in at the trade deadline only to immediately collapse.
The Angels made the effort to try and win in 2023 not because they had the best odds, but because this was their last guaranteed year with Shohei Ohtani under team control. Ohtani is officially a free agent with the 2023 season wrapped up, and could walk away for nothing more than a measly draft pick.
Chances are, Ohtani is going to walk away. The Angels haven't come close to fielding a competitive team with him around, and have given him no reason to believe that will change. The Ron Washington hire shouldn't hurt, but presumably won't push them over the top. One way for the Angels to potentially convince Ohtani to stay is by outbidding the field. As irresponsible as that might seem considering how massive the contract Ohtani is about to get will be, there are reasons to believe they should just give Shohei the check to write his own amount.
1) The LA Angels cannot let Shohei Ohtani walk for nothing
As time has passed, it's become abundantly clear that the Angels should have traded Shohei Ohtani. They had many chances to do so but could not pull the trigger. They could've moved him at the 2022 trade deadline for a haul larger than the one Washington got for Juan Soto. They could've moved him in the 2022 offseason for a massive haul but refused to do so. They then could've moved him at the 2023 deadline while still getting a ton in return but opted to go for it instead.
Holding onto Shohei gave the Angels some great regular season memories, but the team still wasn't close to winning. Had they moved Ohtani they could've entered a rebuild.
Time has expired for the Angels to do this. They now have to either bring back Ohtani or lose him for just a supplemental draft pick. Losing him for a pick would be nothing short of catastrophic for a team lacking with both their major league roster and minor league prospects.
If Ohtani leaves because he likes the situation another team would provide him, there's nothing the Angels can do about that. If he leaves because another team outbids them, that's something they can control.