Angels Rumors: Tampa Bay Rays ‘Aggressively’ Tried To Acquire Shohei Ohtani At Trade Deadline
Shohei Ohtani, 2021 Season
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels put themselves in a tough position with organizational depth after they committed to an all-in approach at the trade deadline, prior to their season going downhill.

Acquiring numerous top deadline pieces such as Lucas Giolito, C.J. Cron, Randal Grichuk, the hopes for the Angels second half were sky-high. Pressure about the future of Shohei Ohtani and where he’ll land in free agency posed some questions about if they should’ve dealt him at the deadline.

Front-end clubs could have used Ohtani’s production, as he’s en route to another Most Valuable Player Award. One American League East contender made an attempt to acquire him, showing a willingness to give up prized prospects, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

The Tampa Bay Rays were among the teams who were aggressively seeking Shohei Ohtani at the trade deadline, and were willing to offer three of their top 10 prospects, including top prospect Junior Caminero.

With the Los Angeles Dodgers among the rumored teams to make a run at Ohtani, the Angels plan to offer the two-way star a long-term contract that should rival other top deals.

Ohtani is slated to be among the highest paid athletes in the history of the sport, regardless of the fact his recent elbow surgery will hold him out from pitching in 2024.

Shohei Ohtani to receive qualifying offer from Angels

With Ohtani hitting the open market, Minasian is tasked with handling his intricate situation.

Ohtani is all but assured to decline the qualifying offer, which has a price tag of around $20.5 million for the 2024 season. Since the 2012 season, the qualifying offer has risen from $13.3 million, to what it projects to be in 2024. Players tagged have five days to either accept a large one-year salary or decline it in hopes to sign a longer-term deal.

With a heap of players on the Major League roster playing on pre-arbitration deals, the Angels are benefitting from a low payroll. The front office still has to figure out how to approach free agency, with a lot of room to maneuver.

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