“I’ve never done this before, I’m not unhappy with the team” Ohtani surprised, free agency mood set…Dodgers turn up the heat again

Shohei Ohtani, 29, has been surprised by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels’ aggressive move to be a “buyer” ahead of the trade deadline has increased his chances of becoming a free agent after the season.

Ohtani earned his first major league complete game victory in the first game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 28, allowing one run on nine hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. In game two, he exploded for his 37th and 38th home runs of the season to lead the Angels to a doubleheader sweep.

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Angels are 8-1 in their last nine games. At 54-49, the Angels are in sixth place for the American League (AL) wild card, three games behind the third-place Toronto Blue Jays (57-46) for the final wild-card spot. It’s their first trip to fall baseball in nine years, since 2014.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been a buyer,” says Ohtani as Angels bolster their lineup

Ohtani, who is a free agent after this season, was also considered for sale at the trade deadline. Despite receiving multiple offers from teams, the Angels declared Ohtani unsaleable and became a buyer in the trade market. Once the internal decision was made, they moved quickly. On July 27, the team sent two minor league prospects to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for All-Star starter Lucas Giolio and bullpen arm Reynaldo Lopez. As soon as they became free agents after the season, the Angels brought in two power arms to bolster their weakness on the mound.

Ohtani was a little surprised by the Angels’ quick move. “I’ve been with the Angels for six years, and this is the first time the team has been a buyer,” Ohtani said in an interview after pitching a complete-game shutout in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Aug. 28, according to local media, including The Athletic. For the past five years, we’ve been sellers at this time of year. This is a new situation for me. I’m looking forward to working with the new players and becoming a better team.”

In each of the five years since Ohtani’s arrival in 2018, the Angels have been out of contention at this time of year and have been sellers in the trade market, shedding key players for prospects and looking to the future. This year, however, the Angels have not been out of the hunt, despite the ups and downs, and Ohtani will be able to keep them in contention until the end of the season with postseason dreams.

Angels manager Perry Minasian said, “We are a team that deserves to win. The addition of Giolito and Lopez will be a great addition to our pitching staff.” The Angels are also busy making additional moves before the trade deadline next month. The team will get a big boost when center fielder Mike Trout returns in mid-August after being sidelined with a fractured fibula.

Staying out of trade rumors is also a positive for Ohtani, who said, “My plan from the beginning was to finish the season with the Angels. It doesn’t change anything mentally, but it’s nice to have everyone talking about a trade. Now I’ll just focus on getting the team to the playoffs,” he said.

Ohtani’s free agency could be a possibility, if the Angels don’t flop again

The possibility of Ohtani re-signing with the Angels as a free agent has been raised. According to ESPN, “With the Giolito signing, the Angels pushed the team’s payroll over the luxury tax threshold for the first time in owner Arte Moreno’s long tenure (since 2003). “In the past, the Angels have given big contracts to superstars like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Trout, but they haven’t paid extra to compete in the standings. This suggests that the offer Ohtani will receive from the Angels could far exceed his expectations.

While it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Ohtani would leave as a free agent due to the weakness of the team, things have changed. According to ESPN, “Ohtani has refined his routine in Anaheim. The Angels are allowing Ohtani to make his own decisions at the plate,” and “Ohtani doesn’t know what the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, New York Mets and New York Yankees will expect from him. We don’t know how he would fit in in the LA or New York markets,” adding that Ohtani, who prefers less media contact and a simpler professional life, would likely stay with the Angels, where he is accustomed to a relatively quiet environment.

When asked about his future with the Angels, Ohtani said, “During the season, I don’t want to think about the long term. I just want to focus on the rest of the season and what we need to do right now,” he said, adding, “What I want to make clear is that I’ve been with the Angels my entire career. I love the team and the fans. I have no complaints,” he said, showing his affection for the team.

“I think the front office has given him a clear message, they want to re-sign him, and we all want that,” teammate Trout said, adding, “It’s his decision, so we’ll see how things go. We’ll find out at the end of the year,” he said, adding that he expects him to stay. 토토사이트

If Ohtani stays with the Angels, the Dodgers, who are considered the front-runners, will have their work cut out for them. The Dodgers, who have been interested in Ohtani since he was in high school, made a concerted effort to sign him in the 2017 postseason, putting together an elaborate presentation on the two-hitter. The Dodgers brought ace Clayton Kershaw and center fielder Justin Turner to the interview, as well as the team’s front office, to make their case, but they were turned away. Ohtani opted for the American League’s Angels, who have a designated hitter system that makes it easier to combine the two.

The Dodgers, who will be looking at Ohtani again in free agency, will have a nearly $100 million hole in their payroll at the end of the season. They didn’t spend a lot of money in free agency last winter to make room for Ohtani’s salary, and they’re not looking to make a big deal this offseason. But if Ohtani stays with the Angels, all of the Dodgers’ preparations will be for naught. They may have to completely revise their plans.

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