Free Agency Rumors: Shohei Ohtani Likely To Decide On Team This Week
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
May 16, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent star Shohei Ohtani remains on the open market as the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings are underway in Nashville, Tennessee.

The annual gathering of MLB personnel, front office executives and agents has been a hot bed for free agent decisions, including major contract announcements and trades. Ohtani is the big piece to this year’s class, seeming to hold up the rest of MLB teams while he mulls his options.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, and Los Angeles Angels, are among the rumored landing spots for Ohtani according to many recent reports. Alongside Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Blake Snell, the two-way phenom has the potential to ink a mega contract prior to them signing deals of their own.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Ohtani is getting closer to making a decision on his next destination.

A potential contract for Ohtani could stray two ways, a long-term deal with opt-outs, or he could sign for a few years with a record average annual value.

He chose the Angels for several reasons, and Ohtani’s next stop seems to be predicated on contract value, winning pedigree, and sustainability.

What do the Angels do if Shohei Ohtani signs elsewhere?

A huge hurdle for the Angels is the fate of their competitive aspirations if Ohtani chooses to sign with another team.

Given they still have Mike Trout patrolling centerfield, the pair of he and Ohtani, when healthy, create one of the most dynamic duos in MLB. The flip side of the Angels’ current situation is the unfortunate road if Trout is without his running mate from years past.

Ohtani secured another MVP in unanimous fashion, and is on the verge of possibly securing the largest contract in league history. Meanwhile, the Angels hired Ron Washington to head their mixed group of youth and veteran pieces.

There are positives in what they do have, mainly, because of the exposure that Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel, and the breakout year from Mickey Moniak. The slow climb from Logan O’Hoppe back from shoulder surgery is expected to give them their catcher of the now and future.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian would be wise to stand pat if Ohtani signs with one of the other top suitors, and try to convince owner Arte Moreno that a sustainable model is their best route.

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