Shohei Ohtani’s impending free agency has been a topic of conversation since last offseason. While his future landing spot is in question, it is becoming more apparent that he will not be staying with the Los Angeles Angels.
Ohtani fielded the expected questions about his future on Monday during the All Star Break. He went out of his way to mention his desire to be a part of a winning franchise, saying that “it sucks to lose.” With those words, he seemingly slammed the door on returning to the Angels unless something completely unexpected happens – they reach the postseason.
Los Angeles Angels not keeping Shohei Ohtani
It is easy to understand why Ohtani would feel that way. Despite pairing him with Mike Trout, the Angels have not made the playoffs during his time in the majors. That trend seems likely to continue this year as the Angels hold a 45-46 record at the All Star Break, five games out of the final Wild Card spot.
One can hardly blame Ohtani for the Angels’ struggles. He is once again the best player in the majors, leading everyone in bWAR by a significant margin. Ohtani has posted an impressive .302/.387/.663 batting line in his 398 plate appearances, leading the majors with 32 homers, six triples, and a 1.050 OPS while stealing 11 bases. On the mound, he has a 3.32 ERA and a 1.096 WHiP over his 100.1 innings, striking out 132 batters with 44 walks; his 6.0 hits per nine innings is the lowest mark of any qualified major league pitcher.
Chances are, Ohtani is going to shatter the average annual value mark in free agency. He would be one of the top players on either side as it is; having a middle of the order bat and a staff ace in one player is a cheat code. But that has not mattered to the Angels as they have failed to reach the playoffs during his time stateside. Ohtani is understandably fed up.
Shohei Ohtani wants to join a winning franchise. That means his time with the Los Angeles Angels is coming to an end.