The LA Angels have the chance to roster a really impressive squad by the time the season starts.
They've already started by inking Noah Syndergaard to an aggressive 1-year/$21 million deal.
The best part is that recent reports are suggesting that the Angels aren't even close to being done when it comes to acquiring pitching this offseason.
All these moves are great, but the Angels should also spend some time locking up their current star power, and ensure that this potentially dangerous squad can stay together.
The LA Angels need to extend Shohei Ohtani this offseason.
Shohei Ohtani and Jared Walsh are the only two 2021 All-Stars on the LA Angels that are not signed to long-term deals right now. Ohtani is signed through next year of course, but will be arbitration eligible next offseason and an unrestricted free agent in the next.
Putting together the best season in baseball history this year, Ohtani has certainly deserved to be extended. He's made it clear that he wants to win, and the Angels haven't done that while he's been here. Therefore, extending him would cost quite a bit.
That being said, extending the American League MVP, who also just had the best season of all time would be expensive anyway, regardless of if we're winning or not.
Of course there's the theory that Ohtani will regress after this season, but I don't buy it. The Angels just were able to gather 162 games of data on how to use Ohtani and manage his workload. They did a great job, and now enter the future with much more experience than they started with.
He's likely not going to regress, and the Angels should go ahead and extend him before player contracts become even more expensive. I mean, we've already seen the market for starting pitchers rise recently. Obviously Syndergaard just signed for $21 million, and Justin Verlander just signed for $25 million.
Ohtani's value is only going to go up due to the market for starters going up. It's worth it, and likely cheaper, to extend him now. Postpone the opportunity for the Yankees to try to make a run at him again.
The Angels need to continue being aggressive. They've done a good job of that so far this offseason, and they are already counting on this core by signing Trout to a mega deal up through 2030, and Anthony Rendon up through 2026.
The Halos can't be going half in and half out. Those two core pieces are signed through 2026, and Ohtani is perhaps more valuable than both of them. He too needs to be extended through 2026.
It doesn't need to affect the payroll situation for this year, either. There are ways to extend him without that money going into his salary for next year. Of course, that comes with a little bit of risk because that means we would be paying him the big bucks when he's an older player. But even in 2026, he's not going to be old, but 33 years of age.
He'll still be in his prime, so that can't be an excuse.
The Angels have the chance to extend Ohtani this offseason, and prove that they're absolutely trying to go for success for years to come. And after this season, what more does he need to prove to show that he deserves it?