Los Angeles Angels fans are fed up and prepared for the worst as Shohei Ohtani reaches free agency this offseason. The chances of him remaining an Angel feel awfully low, and that's a bad sign for a team that hasn't even come close to finishing with a winning record despite him playing at an MVP level in each of the last three seasons.
Part of the reason the fan base is so fed up with the losing is there doesn't appear to be a clear path forward for another little while. Ohtani likely leaving isn't the only reason for that. The Angels are stuck with some horrific contracts on Arte Moreno's books, and we all know Moreno won't go into the tax and won't rebuild.
There are four players in particular under contract for the 2024 season, some through arbitration, that fans wish the team would find a way to move on from. The Angels are likely stuck with two of the four, unfortunately.
1) LA Angels fans have been ready to move on from Anthony Rendon for years
When the Angels signed Anthony Rendon to the massive deal they got him on, they expected he'd be one of, if not the best third basemen in the game. He was just the best position player on a Nationals team that had won the World Series before signing, and had four seasons of top-10 NL MVP finishes.
Rendon played well in 2020 but that was the shortened year. In the three full years since, Rendon has played in just 148 out of a possible 486 games. That's a little over 30%. Just baffling.
Not only does Rendon not stay on the field, but when he's played in the last three seasons he's been awful. He's slashed .235/.338/.364 with 13 home runs and 84 RBI. He has a 94 OPS+ in those seasons making him a below-average hitter. Yes, well over $30 million annually for a below-average hitter to appear in no more than 58 games.
Rendon has his off-field history as well that just makes everything worse. Nothing about this contract feels good, but there's no way out. The only hope was including him in a Shohei Ohtani trade, but that's off the table. Hopefully they get something out of him in 2024. Hopes are at an all-time low.