Shohei Ohtani's Dodgers contract details prove he was never coming back to Angels

The devil is in the details as the Angels have to watch Shohei Ohtani head to the Dodgers.
Sep 1, 2023; Oakland, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani looks at
Sep 1, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani looks at / Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels had to know that this day was coming, unfortunately. They did their damnedest at the trade deadline to make a playoff run with Shohei Ohtani still on the team and they almost certainly made a strong offer to try and convince him to stay. It was even rumored that the Angels were finalists to sign him to the end. Unfortunately, he ultimately decided to head across town to the Dodgers on a massive $700 million deal that broke basically every North American sports contract record and changed the entire complexion of this offseason and the sport of baseball.

Shohei's announcement of the deal on his Instagram was filled with his usual humility. He thanked the Angels and their fans for all of their support to start his career and he even apologized for taking a long time to make his decision. While this wasn't the end that Angels fans hoped for, Shohei gave them a lot during his time here and they should be thankful as well.

But there was no way in hell he was going to turn down $700 million and there was no way the Angels could have offered him that much.

Shohei's $700 million deal with the Dodgers means the Angels never had any hope to keep him

Giving any one player $700 million over 10 years is almost unthinkable in any sport, let alone baseball. Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper...all of those guys got massive deals and they look miniscule compared to what Shohei just got from the Dodgers.

For Angels specifically, they certainly have plenty of payroll room even if they were worried about the luxury tax. Their current projected luxury tax payroll sits at a bit over $164 million against a $237 million threshold for 2024. Given that, it is likely that they had a deal well north of $500 million on the table for Ohtani.

However, $700 million is a different matter altogether. The Angels already signed Mike Trout to an extension worth over $426 million. Committing $70 million a year to Shohei would have only put the Angels in the same position they have been for the last several years except with less payroll room to work with. Arte Moreno is loaded, but everyone has their limits.

Sadly, all of this means that the Angels have to do a lot of work over the next year or two to get back to relevance. They just lost a once in a generation player and Mike Trout isn't getting any younger and may not get any healthier. For Perry Minasian, this is going to be the ultimate test to see if he can prove his mettle and bounce back and build a roster worth watching around Trout.

That said, the Angels may not regret not giving Ohtani that kind of money because his future on the mound is a bit murky and at the end of the day, that is a stupid amount of money. Can't blame Shohei for taking it, though.

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