The Los Angeles Angels head into the offseason with a fork in the road mentality, because the next stop for Shohei Ohtani will dictate much of what they do in free agency.
General manager Perry Minasian still has a slot to fill with his next manager, but that decision is expected to come shortly following the conclusion of the World Series. His next order of business would be evaluating where his roster stands in both the short, and long-term view.
The Angels have are projected to have around $73.7 million in space before they hit the collective bargaining tax threshold. The CBT is a number they attempted to sneak under this past year, but until final figures come out for their official payroll, it’s unclear if they will incur tax penalties for 2024.
But there are still areas of the roster they can improve, both on the high end, with a few All-Stars set to hit the open market, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
Angels seen as potential fits for Josh Hader, J.D. Martinez.
Both additions with be significant, Hader, for one, projects to be the highest paid relief pitcher in the free agency pool this upcoming winter. Whereas J.D. Martinez produced like a top-end bat for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it would also spell a possible end to Ohtani with the Angels.
There isn’t a clear indicator of anything with Ohtani, or one that’ll trigger the next. But it’s worth keeping an eye on that if the two-way star signs elsewhere, Minasian is making sure to find a strong source of offensive production.
Former Angels manager Joe Maddon comments on Shohei Ohtani free agency
Since joining the Angels, Ohtani has changed the rulebooks, record books, and the overall urgency in the organization’s front office. During Joe Maddon’s tenure from 2020-to-2022, he saw firsthand how the two-way star operated on a daily basis.
Ohtani elevated his game from just getting his foot in the door of Major League Baseball, to grabbing a stranglehold on the entire view of how unique he is.
Now that he’s proven to not only himself and MLB that he can be the best in the sport, his options are endless, and only he knows what he covets out of his next destination.
Joe Maddon discussed his upcoming free agency process, and what Ohtani might prioritize when deciding on his next landing spot.
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