The 2023 season has turned out to be a miserable one for the Los Angeles Angels as they failed to not only push for a playoff spot, but play a single meaningful game in September even after going all in at the trade deadline.
The incentive the Angels had to go all in was very simple. Show Shohei Ohtani that they can win. Everything the Angels have done for this season has revolved around getting the best team around Ohtani. Even if guys were on expiring deals, if they were good players, the Angels were interested and clearly willing to give up their best prospects to get these players here.
Despite the Angels stopping at nothing to center their entire franchise around Ohtani, MLB insider Jon Heyman doesn't even think they'll be in on him this upcoming offseason. I'd say that claim makes absolutely no sense.
LA Angels rumors: MLB Insider assuming the Angels won't be in on Shohei Ohtani this offseason is absolutely insane
Look. I'm very willing to acknowledge the Angels face an uphill battle in retaining Ohtani. They haven't won anything with him here, and haven't even finished with a .500 record. This season they attempted to pull out all the stops and trade their top prospects for guys to help them win now and that immediately blew up in their faces.
His co-star Mike Trout can't stay on the field consistently, the team's highest-paid player annually Anthony Rendon plays even less, and the owner Arte Moreno is as bad of an owner as there is. I'm not arguing that Ohtani will even entertain an Angels offer, but I am arguing the Angels will be right there doing whatever it takes to keep their guy.
The Angels are the ones who refused to trade him last season when they were out of it and could've gotten a historic haul in return. The Angels are the ones who refused to trade him this past offseason, and refused once again at the deadline despite having the odds stacked against them. It's very clear that Arte Moreno values him, and will go to levels he wouldn't even go for Mike Trout.
You can argue whether it's wise for the Angels to give Ohtani the massive contract he's sure to get. There're questions about whether he can even pitch again, and giving record-setting money to just a DH seems foolish, especially when you have a guy like Mike Trout under contract who, at some point, will surely need DH at-bats. That's just not the point of this argument.
The Angels are the ones who refused to trade him last season when they were out of it and could've gotten a historic haul in return. The Angels are the ones who refused to trade him this past offseason, and refused once again at the deadline despite having the odds stacked against them. It's very clear that Arte Moreno values him an insane amount, and will go to levels he wouldn't even go for Mike Trout to try and keep him.
Everything the Angels have done not only this season but in the past with Ohtani is enough to tell you the team will be right there doing whatever they can to land Shohei. Will it work? I have no clue. But they will try. That's without question.