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OC Register: Angels lose Shohei Ohtani – here’s how they can move forward

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The day that Angels fans had come to fear for years finally arrived.

Shohei Ohtani, the game-changing force who made history in his six years wearing an Angels uniform, is going to play for the Dodgers on a 10-year, $700 million contract.

Now, the Angels and their fans to begin to deal with Life After Ohtani.

Obviously, Ohtani’s absence will leave a hole in the lineup. He produced a combined .964 OPS over 1,904 plate appearances in the past three years. Not only was he much better than any other hitter during that time, but he was more durable. Taylor Ward ranked second in plate appearances for the Angels over those seasons, with 1,210.

Ohtani hit 124 homers in the past three seasons, which was nearly double Mike Trout’s 66. Ohtani drove in 290 runs, which was nearly double Jared Walsh’s 153.

Although Ohtani’s pitching career with the Angels ended six weeks early because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament, he nonetheless led the team in the last three seasons with 428 1/3 innings. Patrick Sandoval was second with 380 1/3.

The gaping hole Ohtani leaves on the field is only part of the equation. He was also the team’s primary fan attraction, bringing thousands of fans through the turnstiles to see him play. The team generated millions of dollars in revenue from sponsorships with Japanese companies, and sales of merchandise in the ballpark.

The only thing Ohtani didn’t bring the Angels was success.

They had a losing record every year with Ohtani, which only created a maddening narrative that the Angels were “wasting” one of the greatest talents the game has ever seen.

The contrast of his greatness against a backdrop of mediocrity simply highlighted how baseball is a team sport that requires depth more than star power.

Now, the Angels have the opportunity to try building their team a different way.

The current roster is about $70 million below the threshold for the luxury tax in 2024, according to FanGraphs. The Angels could use pitching upgrades, and starters like Blake Snell, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Jordan Montgomery and Marcus Stroman should all be within their budget, if they can convince any of them to sign.

The Angels also now have the option of using a five-man rotation, which was more difficult when Ohtani was in one of the spots. He has never pitched on four days’ rest in the majors.

The Angels also now have the DH spot open, instead of having Ohtani inked in to that spot for just about every game. That gives them the opportunity to use Trout or Anthony Rendon in that spot, which could help both of those players stay healthier. Trout is 32 and has seven years left on his contract, so filling the DH spot with Ohtani for the next decade could have become problematic. In the short term, the Angels also could now pursue an offensive upgrade like Jorge Soler or J.D. Martinez.

It remains to be seen how aggressive the Angels will be in trying to build a winning team without Ohtani, but general manager Perry Minasian has insisted all along that owner Arte Moreno is too competitive to agree to any sort of step back to rebuild.

At least they now know exactly what is in front of them, without the lingering question about Ohtani’s future.

Ohtani is gone.

The Angels must move on.

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11 minutes ago, Swordsman78 said:



Seriously though.  Getting bogged down with a $700 mil contract would have most likely doomed the franchise to mediocracy for the next 10 years.

Now they can make the necessary investments to become relevant in 3-4 years.  (After Rendone is gone)

No next year Angels have winning record. Things change starting in 2024

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Giving a massive contract to a player for his decline years is something the Angels have done many, many times. 

I'm not upset that they did not give one to Shohei. 

Will I miss watching him play for the Angels? Of course. 

But the Angels couldn't win when they were paying him well below his market value. They weren't going to win paying him 50, 60, or 70 million per year. 

I am ready for the next chapter. 


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16 minutes ago, Justin said:

But the Angels couldn't win when they were paying him well below his market value. They weren't going to win paying him 50, 60, or 70 million per year.

This is true.  If they had been a competitive, playoff team, they might have been willing to pay that.  And perhaps Shohei would have had a tougher decision.  But the bottom line is that even if the Angels had been willing to match the $700M, Shohei was going to choose the Dodgers 99 times out of 100.  They never stood a chance.

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70 mil to spend.

1. 25-30 mil on a a #1/2

2. 15-20 mil on a number 3.

3. Try to get rid of Anderson contract

4. Spend the rest of the money on other needs.


1. Snell/Yamatoma

2.  Sandy

3. Stroman/Montgomery 


5. Silseth

lineup ( I'm gone go crazy!)

1. Rendon Dh/3rd

2. Trout ( Cf/Dh)

3. Drury (2nd/1st)

4. Ward (lf)

5. Nolan (1st)

6. O'hoppe (c)

7. Rengifo (3rd/utl)

8. Moniak /Adell/ free agent(RF)

9. Neto


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It will be harder to just focus on the Angels because Ohtani is just up the road and will have much more media exposure on a daily basis. At least at first until familiarity becomes normal for Dodger fans and media. There's always a honeymoon period at first, but what happens after should be interesting.

I wonder how much of a leader he will be on a veteran winning team ? Will he start off with a new home run celebration ritual? Doubtful he brings in any Angel baggage. 

You'd think that he will be drawn into the celebrity culture to some degree. Photo ops, schmoozing, requests on his time and so on. Willingly or not. For what he's being paid he has to comply with team obligations and do a lot more off the field you would think. Probably tons more monetary options but he hardly needs them any more

 Anonymity will be much harder, and how his new organization deals with his desires will be interesting. 

The language factor will have Ippie working overtime. 



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1 minute ago, Duren, Duren said:

I wonder how much of a leader he will be on a veteran winning team ? Will he start off with a new home run celebration ritual? Doubtful he brings in any Angel baggage. 

Yeah, I don't think they need him as any kind of a leader.  Betts, Freeman, and others seem like they already have that role locked down. 

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