‘Enjoy the magic, Angels fans. Shohei Ohtani’s time in Anaheim may be coming to an end.’
That was the headline of a column published by the Los Angeles Times (LAT) on Aug. 22, shortly after Ohtani pitched six innings of one-run ball against the Minnesota Twins to lead the Angels to a 4-2 victory.
Ohtani allowed two hits and three walks against the AL Central-leading Minnesota lineup, but limited them to one run while striking out nine. It was a return to his “April form,” in which he allowed one run or less in five straight starts after struggling to a 6.12 ERA in his previous four outings.
The Angels are 8-2 in Ohtani’s 10 starts this season. With each outing, the Angels are seeing the true value of their ace, and even their two-hitter. The Angels are 44-29 (.603) all-time when Ohtani starts. That’s the highest winning percentage of the season.
However, the general consensus is that Ohtani will not pitch in an Angels uniform for at least two months. That’s because he’s likely to change teams before the trade deadline in late July. If the Angels don’t think they’ll make the playoffs this year, they’ll have no choice but to trade Ohtani.
It’s much more beneficial in the mid- to long-term to acquire multiple prospects in a trade than it is to receive a single pick in free agency later this year. Getting rid of players before they hit free agency is a long-standing and unwritten rule in Major League Baseball.
The LAT writes, “Enjoy as much as you can of Ohtani’s magical time on the mound and at the plate while it lasts,” adding, “There aren’t many days left for him to work his charms here in Anaheim, as he has the ability to demand and receive not only the moon but a small galaxy when he becomes a free agent after this season, and his teammates are already conscious of the history that surrounds him whenever he approaches the starting rotation.
The implication is that his teammates recognize that Ohtani’s value will only increase as the season progresses, and that the likelihood of his departure will increase proportionally.
The Angels don’t have much of a chance of making the playoffs again this season. Fangraphs gave the Angels a 20.5 percent chance of making the playoffs today, down 4.6 percentage points from a week ago. They have a 5.4 percent chance of winning the division and a 15.1 percent chance of getting a wild card. At 25-23, the Angels are five games behind the AL West-leading Texas Rangers and three games behind the third-place Houston Astros for the AL wild card.
‘If the Angels had built their roster correctly around Ohtani and Mike Trout, spending a lot of money on starting pitching, bullpen and weak positions, they could have at least avoided the reality that Ohtani will be gone after this season,’ the LAT wrote, ‘The last time the Angels played fall ball was in 2014, four years before Ohtani joined the team. Clear, crisp weather and Disneyland would not be enough of an enticement to keep him.
It’s too late, and there’s no point in trying to lure Ohtani, who wants to win. What’s more, the Angels can’t afford Ohtani’s free-agent contract, which will cost at least $500 million. 토토사이트
As Ohtani told the LAT, “There aren’t that many games that we lost that we couldn’t win, so I think it’s for the best. We have to do our best until the end. We don’t give up,” he said, “because the atmosphere is good. As I said before, we lost, but we also had a lot of chances to win.”
“As I said before, we lost, but we had a lot of chances to win,” he said. It’s the same old, same old.
As LAT put it, “Every time Ohtani appears, it’s as if it’s his last time in an Angels uniform. Enjoy his time with the Angels while it lasts,” the column concluded.