There's absolutely no disputing that Shohei Ohtani leaving is an unmitigated disaster for the Los Angeles Angels. The team refused to trade him at any point, collapsed down the stretch after trading several of their top prospects for rentals, and then watched him go to the Dodgers with nothing but a compensatory pick in return.
The Angels were a 73-win team this past season with Ohtani winning the MVP award. It's possible they finish with a couple more wins this upcoming season if they stay healthy, but the playoff upside that they had with Ohtani is now completely gone. The Angels have not had a winning season since 2015 and have not made the playoffs since 2014. There's a good chance both of those streaks will extend.
While Ohtani leaving for virtually nothing was the worst-case scenario for the Angels, there is one clear silver lining that came with it, which was pointed out by Angels pitcher Reid Detmers on the Foul Territory podcast.
Reid Detmers looks at the bright side of Shohei Ohtani leaving
While Ohtani was far and away the best player in the sport the last three seasons, his stardom came with some inconveniences. First, the DH spot was completely locked in. Ohtani did not play the field so he took up the DH spot even in days he pitched. That meant injury prone players like Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon who might've benefitted from a DH day here and there rarely ever got them. With that open this season, perhaps we see them spend some time there and stay healthier.
The more pressing issue was the Angels being forced to use a six-man rotation. It's hard enough in MLB to build a formidible five-man rotation, but the Angels had to find six quality starters. It's safe to say that did not happen. The Angels often had very top-heavy rotations which more often than not led to them having below-average numbers from their starters.
Now, the Angels go to the customary five-man rotation with Ohtani gone. This means the team only has to worry about five starters instead of six, and should have an easier time dealing with that. The Angels obviously have a long way to go when it comes to building a championship rotation, but cutting down from six to five makes their lives a lot easier.
Detmers pointed out inconsistencies with Ohtani sometimes not being able to go on the exact day he was supposed to, which threw everyone off. With no two-way players on the Angels roster, that likely won't happen anymore. It's possible we see pitchers like Detmers pitch more consistently knowing they're going to be on a normal routine.
This change isn't going to put the Angels in the playoffs or anywhere near it, but it will certainly help them from a team-building standpoint. Obviously having Ohtani would be better with how gifted of a player he is, but this is definitely one small bright spot that comes from not having him.