This season’s trade deadline signaled a different direction for the Los Angeles Angels with the exit of Raisel Iglesias at the back-end of the bullpen and Noah Syndergaard in the rotation, but general manager Perry Minasian expressed his optimism and current standing of the roster going forward.
The Angels’ place in the standings isn’t the focal point of the year anymore and their 23-game deficit in the American League West is enough to make that point clear. But Minasian made the difficult but easy decision to hang on to Shohei Ohtani after entertaining offers on the two-way star.
Ohtani is a free agent after next season and Minasian understands to retain a superstar who wants to win, he must establish a roster around both Mike Trout and Ohtani to remain competitive, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I think that’s a question for him on why he’d want to stay here,” Minasian said. “But I always feel a sense of urgency. We want to win here. But again, I have to build a better roster. No doubt about it. We just need to build a better supporting cast. I think this is a great organization and I think if you asked the three guys who are leaving, they really enjoyed their time here. It’s a great place to play.”
To lose Ohtani would be a huge failure considering his value to a team, but if he believes the outlook for the Angels isn’t there, he very well could leave. It is up to Minasian to fill out the roster and get better on the periphery without mortgaging the little top-end prospects they have.
“I’m not going to get into contract negotiations about any player, but we love Shohei and I think Shohei really enjoys being here,” Minasian said. “And Shohei’s a guy that shows up every day prepared. He’s obviously excellent on the field and excellent off the field. He’s the type of guy we want to be about. So, we’ll see where it goes in the future.”
The roster has upside and a lot of opportunities financially to fill out the team but given the track record of large contract failures for the Angels, their player development must prepare young players to contribute to the big league club.
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It is a difficult reality when year after year the Angels seem to come to a point of, ‘to compete or reset’, and this year was believed to be the former.
Nevertheless, the deadline provided the Angels with three new prospects in their top-30 rankings, including a swap of Brandon Marsh for Logan O’Hoppe, who could soon be their man behind the plate.