Former Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani received his American League MVP award for the 2023 season on Saturday. It’s his second MVP win in his sixth season, and it made him the first player in MLB history to win two MVP awards unanimously. Of course, he accepted the award and made his speech as a member of the L.A. Dodgers, as he signed with the cross-town rivals on a historic 10-year, $700 million contract.
Ohtani being on the Dodgers, though, does not mean he’s forgotten about the Angels and the role they played in him getting to where he is now. The Angels were one of the only teams willing to give Ohtani unlimited leash when it comes to playing time.
Ohtani recognized this by thanking the Angels in his acceptance speech, which he surprisingly gave entirely in English without the help of his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, via Fox Sports MLB:
“To the Angels organization — ownership, front office and the entire staff — thank you for the last six years. I always appreciated your support in allowing me the opportunity to play this game that I’m so passionate about. Thank you to my teammates and coaching staff for encouraging me throughout the year. I felt your support every day.”
The Angels and Ohtani developed a remarkable relationship during his six years in Anaheim. That’s why even without a postseason appearance, Ohtani still gave the Angels a chance to match the offer that was made by the Dodgers. There was an immense mutual respect that won’t go away now that he’s playing elsewhere.
Ohtani can now try to secure a third MVP award and his first as a member of the National League, while the Angels look to replace the gap left behind by the two-way star.
Angels have had discussions with Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger’s free agency has been shockingly quiet, as it was assumed that he would ultimately find his way back to the Chicago Cubs after testing the market. But as time passes, it appears the Angels are getting in on the negotiations with Bellinger and agent Scott Boras:
“I know many people assume that it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s gonna sign with the Cubs. And that may eventually happen, but from what I’m being told the Angels have interest in Cody Bellinger and have had discussions with Scott Boras about Cody Bellinger.
“And we all know Arte Moreno, the Angels owner, when he spends big he spends big on offense. And the Angels do need a left-handed hitting outfielder. So it does make sense especially if they can move him between first base and center field the way the Cubs did with Bellinger, that he would be a very valuable piece for him.”