Shohei Ohtani being linked to this surprise team should have Angels fans sweating

Can the Braves really sign Shohei Ohtani?
Jul 31, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17)
Jul 31, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels, whether it was responsible or not, have held onto hope that Shohei Ohtani would extend with the team long-term. That's why they didn't trade him in either of the past two trade deadlines and that is why they're risking losing the best player in the world for nothing more than a draft pick.

At certain points, it's felt like the Angels had reasoning behind their thinking. If Ohtani had chosen them before, what's stopping him from choosing them again? If he only wants to come out west, the Angels' competition isn't nearly as stiff.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network is reporting that Ohtani has different priorities this time around. Not only does location not matter nearly as much, but Shohei appears to be fully prioritizing winning. If true, you can pretty much officially count the Angels out.

Shohei Ohtani considering the Atlanta Braves could mean the LA Angels have zero shot at re-signing him

Shohei Ohtani is "intrigued" by the idea of playing for the Braves. That's what Morosi said. No, it doesn't mean Atlanta will sign him. In fact, I'd say Ohtani going to the Braves is extremely unlikely because they won't go near the lengths other teams will financially.

The problem with Ohtani being "intrigued" by the Atlanta Braves is that he's clearly focused on one thing. Winning. The Braves have won six straight NL East division titles, won the World Series in 2021, and have back-to-back 100+ win seasons following that championship. Furthermore, Atlanta has virtually all of its core locked in on incredibly team-friendly deals that will keep them competitive for a very long time.

Ohtani's interest in Atlanta doesn't come from location or money, it's all about winning. The Angels might have the location and money Shohei wants, but they don't offer the thing that might be most important to him. If winning is the deciding factor, Ohtani choosing the team with eight straight losing seasons under its belt will not be happening.

Shohei can find his money and location while also having a chance to win with a team like the Dodgers. He can also find teams like the Cubs, Mariners, and Rangers who were in consideration for his services last time out who appear to be in much better position to win now and in the future.