On the heels of another disappointing season, the Los Angeles Angels head into an important offseason that will center around two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani is set to become the most coveted free agency in MLB history next month and has given no indication of what his plans are. Mike Trout hasn’t received any hints from his teammate either, but recently said he will try to convince him to stay with the Angels.
Prior to his elbow injury, Ohtani was projected to sign a contract that could potentially exceed $500 million in total value. Even if he doesn’t reach that amount, he will still draw interest from many teams around the league.
According to Anthony Franco of MLB Trade Rumors, the Angels still hope to re-sign Ohtani:
The Angels unsurprisingly maintain they hope to re-sign Ohtani. The presumptive AL MVP hasn’t tipped his hand about free agent preferences. There’s no doubt the Halos will be involved in the bidding.
When free agency officially begins after the conclusion of the World Series, Angels general manager Perry Minasian indicated the team will extend the qualifying offer to Ohtani.
The 29-year-old almost certainly will decline it, but the move is a no-brainer as the Angels will receive draft compensation in the event he signs elsewhere.
The Angels’ biggest competition for Ohtani figures to be the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres as the presumed 2023 American League MVP Award winner is believed to want to remain in Southern California.
However, the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays are among the other teams that are rumored to be preparing a run for Ohtani.
Angels’ Shohei Ohtani led MLB in jersey sales for 2023
Unsurprisingly given his popularity, Ohtani led MLB in jersey sales this season, besting the likes of Ronald Acuña Jr., Aaron Judge, Fernando Tatis Jr., Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Julio Rodríguez, Matt Olson, Alex Bregman and Trout.