The Los Angeles Angels are heading into an uncertain, yet massively important, offseason. Perry Minasian has already staked the claim that Shohei Ohtani will not be traded, meaning the Halos have just one year to build a winner around him and Mike Trout before the two-way superstar hits free agency.
Going from 73 wins to a World Series — or even playoff — contender is a tall task. But it gets even more difficult when factoring in the uncertainty surrounding Angels ownership. Arte Moreno is looking to sell the team, and while he’ll have no shortage of bidders, the process may take longer than expected.
At this point, there is no way of knowing if the team will be sold by the start of the 2023 season. And that could affect the team’s flexibility to make winning moves during the offseason. One particular rumor has been that the ownership drama will force the Angels to sign only one-year contracts.
However, Minasian refuted that claim, saying that no limitations have been placed on him and the front office to sign multi-year contracts, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
Another key comment from Perry Minasian.
I asked him, hypothetically, if he went to Arte Moreno to try and sign a major free agent for multiple years, would Moreno be open to it?
"Absolutely. … There's no 1-year, can only do 1-year (deal). There's no mandates."
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) November 8, 2022
If this is true, then it would drastically help the Angels case in trying to build a winning team in 2023. Nearly all marquee free agents — both on the mound and in the field — would command lengthy contracts. Limiting to one-year deals would leave the Angels with a roster awfully similar to 2022.
But, of course, it remains to be seen if Minasian is telling the truth here. Teams have said one thing and done another on several occasions, including the Angels themselves. If the Angels routinely strike out on all the major free agents, it would be fairly clear why.
The Angels are in need — via free agency or trade — of at least one starting pitcher, 2-3 quality relievers, and at the very least, multiple pieces of depth in the infield and outfield. If they land a star in either area, the need for depth would be lessened.
Shohei Ohtani named MVP finalist
The Angels two-way superstar is one of the three finalists for the American League MVP award. Ohtani stands alongside Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Yordan Alvarez of the World Series champion Houston Astros.
Judge is considered the favorite after posting one of the best all-around offensive seasons of the modern era. But Ohtani put up a valiant effort, posting a strong .875 OPS at the plate and a 2.33 ERA on the mound.