After losing Shohei Ohtani to the Los Angeles Dodgers, all eyes have been on Los Angeles Angels GM Perry Minasian as Angels fans try and figure out what the plan is. Minasian said they had several plans outlined in the event that Ohtani left, yet have done absolutely nothing in the week since he departed officially.
With Ohtani off the market, Cody Bellinger is considered to be the best position player available. Attention seems to be on the starting pitching market for now, mainly with Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but Bellinger is going to get one of the largest contracts of the offseason.
Projecting exactly what Bellinger would receive in free agency is complicated. He's coming off a great year, but the advanced metrics suggest there was quite a bit of luck involved. The three years prior saw him struggle, but he was an MVP winner in 2019. Teams will be paying for the good version of Bellinger since that's what they've seen most recently, but the question is how aggressive the market will be.
According to Jon Heyman of the NY Post, Bellinger is reportedly seeking $200 million plus. If true, and the market agrees, that will presumably take the Angels out of the running.
LA Angels could use Cody Bellinger, but not for his reported price tag
With Ohtani gone, the Angels could really use another middle-of-the-order bat to pair with Mike Trout. The Angels could easily stick Bellinger in one of the corner outfield spots in place of either Taylor Ward or Mickey Moniak, and could even put him at first base if they want Nolan Schanuel to get more seasoning in the minors.
The fit makes sense, but the price tag Bellinger has put on himself is a hefty one. Yes, he's coming off an excellent season, but the two years prior are impossible to forget, as he had a 66 OPS+ from 2021-2022. The Angels could get the good version, but they could easily get the bad version. Having the bad version tied into a long-term deal on a team with an aging Mike Trout and an already bad Anthony Rendon is quite the risk.
This Angels team that refused to match Shohei Ohtani's offer to then go and spend more than a quarter of it on a player as risky as Bellinger just doesn't feel like a worthwhile investment or one that Arte Moreno would even consider. If that price goes down, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Angels show some interest. But at $200+ million? Thanks, but no thanks.