After falling short of expectations, the Los Angeles Angels entered the offseason with many important decisions to make. Among them was figuring out what to do with Shohei Ohtani, who has one year remaining on his contract before entering free agency.
The two-way star was set to go through the arbitration process a final time, but the Angels avoided it by signing him to a one-year, $30 million contract for the 2023 season.
While L.A. has given every indication that they want to contend next year, they still could potentially entertain the idea of trading Ohtani this winter.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, the Angels have no plans to deal Ohtani to another team:
The Angels, by the way, have no intention of trading Ohtani after signing him to a one-year, $30 million contract, averting arbitration.
Angels general manager Perry Minasian reiterated that the Angels roster needs to improve and that won’t come by subtracting players:
Angels GM Perry Minasian on missing the playoffs once again despite having Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout:
“We’ve got two of the greatest players ever to put on uniforms. There’s no secret there. But we need more. It’s not a two-on-two game. If it was, I love our chances.”
The Angels reportedly fielded offers for Ohtani at the MLB trade deadline this year but ultimately decided to hold onto him.
If the club keeps that same approach this offseason, their top priority will be significantly upgrading a roster that won only 73 games during the 2022 campaign.
Similar to recent years, the Angels could stand to add some starting pitching and bullpen help.
Shohei Ohtani focused on improvement after inking new deal
After signing his new contract, Ohtani said he is focused on improving at the plate and on the mound. The 28-year followed up his MVP season in 2021 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.