3 reasons why the Angels must give Shohei Ohtani a blank check in free agency

The Angels must do whatever they can to try and convince Shohei Ohtani to
Aug 25, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17)
Aug 25, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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3) If the LA Angels couldn't put together a winning season with him, how exactly do they plan on doing so without him?

Ohtani has spent six seasons with the Angels so far, and the team has put together a grand total of zero winning seasons. They've come close, winning as many as 80 games, but the team hasn't even finished .500. That's the case despite Ohtani playing the best baseball we've ever seen in the last three seasons.

Shohei is going to win his second MVP award in the last three years, and the only year in which he didn't win it he was the runner-up to the guy who broke the AL home run record. Ohtani has been one of the best hitters and pitchers in baseball over the last three seasons. How exactly do you get better after losing that guy?

The short answer is, you probably don't. There's a decent chance the Angels win more games in 2024 than they did in 2023 if they get more injury luck, but 74 wins isn't a hard number to reach. The Angels aren't a postseason team even with Ohtani, they're a bottom-five team in the American League easily if he leaves.

The Angels could look to just sign a hitter and a pitcher in free agency, but let's say they wind up with a duo of Cody Bellinger and Aaron Nola. They're not matching Ohtani's production. There isn't a combination of players the Angels can bring in that would match what Ohtani is capable of. That's what makes him so special.

Ohtani had 10.0 bWAR in 2023, and that was with him missing a full month of the season due to injury. Obviously, the fact that he can't pitch in 2024 will hurt, but he'll be able to in 2025 while being the same MVP-caliber hitter. As long as he's here, the Angels have a chance to win sometime in the not-too-distant future. If he leaves, it only becomes that much harder because they get nothing in return.