Angels Rumors: Full-Time Designated Hitter To Replace Shohei Ohtani Unlikely
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

A definite blow to the Los Angeles Angels is the loss of Shohei Ohtani as the ace of their starting rotation and full-time designated hitter. With the bulk of free agency still ahead of them, a ton of options are still available.

General manager Perry Minasian recently freed up some cash after trading away David Fletcher and Max Stassi to the Atlanta Braves. In return, the Angels acquired Evan White and Tyler Thomas.

The Angels have a handful of youth on their current Major League roster, all of whom performed fairly solid this past season. Currently, Minasian hasn’t been active in talks for big additions to their offense, which will take a clear step back in 2024.

Ohtani posted his best offensive season with a 1.066 on-base plus slugging percentage, 44 home runs, 95 RBI and 102 runs scored. The Angels still have pieces and won’t necessarily search for a new DH to replace Ohtani, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

None of the remaining free-agent position players could possibly replace Shohei Ohtani’s production. So, the Angels likely will not even try to add a full-time DH, not when it would benefit them to keep that spot open for the oft-injured Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, among others.

Mike Trout, Brandon Drury and Anthony Rendon are a formidable trio, but the bookend names have been among the most injury-riddled stars in recent years. The Angels have suffered as a result, which has put a strain on the rest of the offense when they’re out.

Rotating Rendon, Trout, and other veterans at DH would be a best-case option if they choose to stay away from a single option. However, their clear lack of protection at the top of the lineup will be offloaded to their young players, including Zach Neto and Nolan Schanuel.

Angels could target J.D. Martinez for DH

J.D. Martinez posted an All-Star season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 36-year-old slugged 33 home runs, tallied 103 RBI, and posted a .572 slugging percentage, his best mark since 2018.

Martinez might opt to look elsewhere for an opportunity to compete, but the Angels offer a full-time spot with the upside to start next to Trout and Drury.

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