The biggest word in the 2023 Major League transfer market and the most anticipated person is definitely Shohei Ohtani (29‧ LA Angels). Ohtani, one of the best players on the planet, will qualify as a free agent (FA) after this season. It has been a long time since the future has emerged as a matter of utmost concern.
With forecasts of more than $500 million or even more than $600 million in total, there are various scenarios for Ohtani’s future move. However, the scenario of being traded during this season is becoming less and less likely. Because the Los Angeles Angels may need Ohtani until the very end.
The Angels have recently been a mid- and low-ranking team in the American League West. The famous Mike Trout also experienced fall baseball only once (2014) after debuting in an Angels uniform in 2011. Last year, he recorded 73 wins and 89 losses (.451), which was far too low to challenge the postseason. But this year is a little different. It’s early in the season, but it’s holding up well on the leaderboard.
As of the 11th (Korean time), the Angels recorded 20-18 (.526) and are running second in the Western Division. While Houston, the strongest player in the world, struggled in the beginning of this season, the Angels came up with Texas (22-14). So far, there is no absolute strong player, so the Angels have a corner to look forward to.
Of course, the Angels have good memories from the beginning of last season. After the middle, I couldn’t use my strength and crashed. There is a lot of anxiety about the starting rotation this year as well. Only Ohtani and Pablo Sandoval are playing the regular innings. But the bullpen is doing relatively well, centered around Carlos Esteves, Matt Moore and Andrew Wantz. The batting line led by Ohtani and Trout is not bad either. It is also encouraging that Anthony Rendon is having a healthy season after a long time.
Buster Olney, a columnist for ESPN and one of the major league sources, predicted on the 12th (Korean time) that the Angels would not trade Ohtani. According to Olney, a senior official from another team said, “We won’t trade Ohtani unless the Angels completely collapse before the trade deadline.”
It is unknown how good prospects can be brought to Ohtani, which can be a ‘half-season rental’. The Angels also desperately need the word ‘postseason’ to increase team value. It is reasonable to judge that it is better to retain Ohtani to the end.
▲ President Andrew Friedman showed off-season moves as if he had Ohtani in mind.
The team that laughs here could be the LA Dodgers. Teams that can recruit Ohtani are limited. Even if you can’t do it, you have to be a ‘big market’ team that can handle the ransom that is expected to exceed 500 million dollars in total. This is why New York’s two teams (Mets and Yankees), the Dodgers, are the most likely candidates. Here, the Dodgers seemed to have Ohtani recruitment in mind, and showed a move to empty the team salary ahead of this season.
Local media believe that Ohtani does not care too much about money. The team that wanted to sign him anyway packed up a bunch of money and lined up. It is highly likely that the financial differences between the teams will not be large. Then again, ‘possibility of winning’ deserves another consideration. The Dodgers have a reputation for being a sustainable strong team. Besides, Los Angeles is an area Ohtani is very familiar with.스포츠토토
A similar perception was revealed in a survey conducted by ESPN’s Kylie McDaniel of major league officials. A total of 6 teams were mentioned in the responses from 26 people. Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco. McDaniel revealed that ‘Double Dodgers received the most selection’. When considering multiple responses such as ‘Yankees or Dodgers’, the Dodgers are overwhelming.
If the team is moved by trade during the season, it is unknown what variables will arise. Moving to a National League team could give wings to rival teams. For the Dodgers, who have plenty of ammunition, it is advantageous for Ohtani to quietly enter the free agent market. The Dodgers need both a starter and a left-handed hitter. Ohtani is a perfect sale, and if you add marketing elements, you can create an explosive synergy effect.