Angels News: Shohei Ohtani Focused On Improvement After Inking New Deal
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Looking ahead to next season, the Los Angeles Angels have checked some important boxes, bringing back manager Phil Nevin, and signing Shohei Ohtani to a one-year deal ahead of any arbitration talks.

The Angels finished the season 73-89 and endured another losing year, once again missing the postseason. Mike Trout has only reached the postseason one time in his career, and with both he and Ohtani together, they’ve never made it.

General Manager Perry Minasian must put a better roster around the slew of top-end talent he’s assembled given that Ohtani has stated his desire to win and perform at the highest level, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:

“I don’t have much to say about all the offseason transactions,” Ohtani said through his interpreter, “but what I have control over is for me to get better in the offseason. Do better than last year. Do better than this year. The better I get, the better the chances of us getting in the postseason. So that’s my focus.”

Minasian took the first step and avoided any dragging headlines surrounding Ohtani’s arbitration year and gave him $30 million in his final year of team control, which was great news to the two-way star.

“I’m glad we got this over with early, keeping a good relationship with the organization,” Ohtani said. “Getting paid means there’s a lot more expectations, so I need to perform as I’m being paid.”

Ohtani followed up his MVP season with a 15-9 record and a 2.33 ERA over 166 innings, with 219 strikeouts and 44 walks. At the plate, Ohtani hit .273 with 34 home runs, 95 RBIs, and a .875 on-base plus slugging.

Phil Nevin calls Shohei Ohtani the best ever

Ohtani’s deal provides the Angels with a solid look at what their top-end payroll will look like for next season and with regard to Ohtani, he’s been following up his MVP campaign from 2022 with another incredible year. If not for New York Yankees’ outfielder, Aaron Judge hitting everything out of the ballpark and chasing & setting home run records, Ohtani would be in-line for repeat MVP awards.

Entering the season finale, Ohtani has a .275/.358/.524 slash and a 144 wRC+, including 34 home runs and 95 RBI. But on the mound, he’s lowered his ERA from last year at 3.18 to a 2.35 ERA, 2.44 FIP, and 11.91 strikeouts-per-nine innings.

Angels manager Phil Nevin recognizes he’s witnessing someone special in an Angels uniform and perhaps one of the all-time greats.

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