The LA Angels declared that they would not sell ‘hot potato’ Shohei Ohtani (29) six days before the trade deadline last summer. They received various trade offers, but after internal discussion, they decided to keep Ohtani. He then moved quickly by immediately recruiting power as a buyer in the trade market.
In order to strengthen the mound, which was their biggest weakness, they made a winning move by recruiting All-Star starter Lucas Giolito and bullpen Reynaldo Lopez from the Chicago White Sox. At the time of the trade on July 27th (Korean time),메이저사이트 the Angels were 6th in the American League (AL) Wild Card with 52 wins and 94 losses, and were four games behind the 3rd place Toronto Blue Jays, and hopes for fall baseball were still alive.
Not only that, veteran first baseman CJ Cron and outfielder Randal Grichic were also acquired through trade from the Colorado Rockies. They made a bid for fall baseball, risking the loss of minor league prospects, but the conclusion came early after a month of miserable failure. Giolito, who was a key trade player, performed poorly after moving to the Angels with an ERA of 6.89 with 1 win and 5 losses in 6 games.
In the absence of Mike Trout, who underwent surgery for a fractured hamate bone and was out for a long period of time, hitter Ohtani came under intensive control, and the Angels’ performance dropped rapidly. In August, which was a tough month, the Angels had 8 wins, 19 losses (.296), and a winning percentage of less than .300. Even Ohtani was pulled from the first game of the doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on August 24th in the second inning due to elbow pain, and then ligament damage was discovered, ending his season as a pitcher.
It was a moment when even the slightest glimmer of hope for the Angels completely disappeared. Six days later, on August 30, the Angels began organizing the team early by announcing waivers for veterans, including players brought in through trades such as Giolito, Lopez, and Grichic. To make matters worse, Ohtani, who continued to play as a designated hitter after being out for the season as a pitcher, also left the team on September 5 due to a right oblique muscle strain.
Although he thought it was not a serious injury, Ohtani, who repeatedly delayed his return, ended up on the injured list on the 17th, ending his season as a hitter in vain. In Ohtani’s absence, the Angels’ winning percentage fell further to 4 wins and 11 losses (.267) in September. As of the 17th, the fall baseball dream has come to an end with 68 wins and 81 losses (.456).
The result was a season where the Angels had nothing left, and Ohtani should have been traded at the trade deadline. There was a low possibility of retaining Ohtani, who would become a free agent after the season, and if he had used it as a trade card, he could have secured his future by receiving promising players. However, he failed without being able to compete properly for fall baseball, and if Ohtani transfers as a free agent, he will have to be satisfied with receiving at most one draft pick.
On the 17th, when Ohtani’s season out was announced, Angels general manager Perry Minassian, who faced local reporters such as MLB.com at Angel Stadium, was also asked a question related to this. In response, Director Minassian said, “I think it was the right decision considering the situation we were in at the time. Looking back now, we can say that we should have traded Ohtani, but considering his ranking and performance at the time, it was the right decision not to trade him. “Even if the same situation happens again, I won’t change my decision,” he said, showing no regrets about not selling Ohtani. Although the result was the worst, it was worth the risk at the time, and now I can’t say I regret it.
They still haven’t given up hope on renewing Otani’s free agent contract. General Manager Minassian said, “Ohtani seems to have really enjoyed his time here. (With full-time two-batting job starting in 2021) He had the best three years of all time. I must have enjoyed the time I spent with my teammates, fans, and team. There was a lot of trust in each other, and communication was good. “I hope he stays here for a long time,” he said.
Realistically, there is no way Otani will remain. Regarding the possibility of Ohtani leaving the team like this, General Manager Minassian said, “There are still about two weeks left in the regular season. We will plan for next season later, but we have to be prepared for anything. “I don’t know what will happen, but we like young players and want to build a team around them,” he said. “This year was a season that made no sense. A lot of things happened that had never happened before. “I learned a lot, and I also found things to improve,” he said, adding that he will use this year’s failure as a mirror to build a better team.