For many teams, this offseason will be dictated by whatever Shohei Ohtani decides to do. That's the case for not only the Los Angeles Angels, but it's the case for several teams in the running for the soon-to-be two-time AL MVP winner.
The Angels might not have the best chance to bring Ohtani back, but will certainly be in talks with the superstar until he says he's officially staying or going.
For those waiting patiently for Ohtani to pick where he'll play for presumably the next decade if not longer, the wait might not be as long as many had thought. According to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN, a handful of GM's that are expected to be in on Ohtani are under the impression that he'll choose his next destination rather quickly. Ohtani could even make his decision by the time the Winter Meetings wrap up. Those occur from December 4-6 in Nashville.
Shohei Ohtani signing early gives the LA Angels ample time to move forward whether he stays or goes
Whether Ohtani stays or goes, the Angels should hope Ohtani makes his decision as early as Gonzalez is reporting here. For one, the organization and fans all over the world are obviously extremely curious and waiting to hear any Ohtani updates. Additionally, it gives the Angels time to operate and decide what they want to do.
If Ohtani stays, the path is fairly straightforward. The team will do whatever it can within Arte Moreno's constraints to field a winning ball club. They'll look to add as much pitching as possible, and hope the team is good enough. If Ohtani goes, that's where things get more difficult.
The Angels could still look to win. That's probably the likely outcome, even if it shouldn't be. Arte Moreno has never committed to a rebuild, and even if Ohtani leaves it feels like he won't budge whatsoever. He never has. Ohtani signing early should leave enough impactful free agents out there for the Halos to do something.
On the off-chance the team opts to enter a rebuild, Ohtani signing in early December would give the Angels time to trade some of their veterans in exchange for younger and more controllable assets. While a Mike Trout trade is extremely unlikely, the Angels could look to move on from players on expiring contracts like Brandon Drury and Carlos Estevez.
Ohtani signing early would not only benefit the fans who are eager to see where he signs and for how much, but it would also benefit the Angels who need to find a way to react, especially if he leaves.