The Los Angeles Angels are in offseason mode with their fourth place finish in the American League West. Their 73-89 finish marked the club’s eighth straight losing record.
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.
As Shohei Ohtani hits the open market, general manager Perry Minasian is tasked with handling the brunt of it. He discussed upcoming decisions for the team, including safeguards for Ohtani’s situation, per Sam Blum of The Athletic:
Minasian said he expects to extend a qualifying offer to Ohtani and believes the two-way superstar ended this season with a positive experience with the Angels. “I believe this is a place he enjoys playing and a place he loves,” Minasian said.
Ohtani is all but assured to decline the qualifying offer, which has a price tag of around $20.5 million for the 2024 season. The Angels are making sure they’ll receive at least draft pick compensation from the team that signs the superstar player.
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.
14 players were presented with the qualifying offer last offseason, with Joc Pederson and Martín Pérez being the only two to accept. Because the Angels held onto Ohtani at the trade deadline, he’s still eligible to receive the tag, and it’ll be his first taste of free agency.
What should the Angels do with Mike Trout if Shohei Ohtani leaves?
Since reaching the major leagues at the age of 19, Mike Trout has dealt with a decade of losing. After becoming a pillar in the organization, the front office has since failed miserably in building up the farm system, which could’ve allowed the team to create a pathway for young, controllable players to fill out the roster.
As Ohtani is all-but sure to leave this winter, should the Angels trade Trout? Probably. Could the Angels trade Trout? Possibly, if the receiving team decides that gambling on a 32-year-old making a base salary of $35.45 million a season until he’s 38 would be a wise investment.
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