MLB Trade Rumors: Shohei Ohtani will be an Anaheim Angel at the start of the 2023 season, according to Angels general manager Perry Minasian. Minasian told reporters on Monday that “Ohtani is not getting moved . . . [h]e’ll be here to start the season.”
Ohtani, the American League Most Valuable Player in 2021, is a finalist for the MVP award this year in what is viewed as a two man race between Ohtani and New York Yankee slugger Aaron Judge. Ohtani agreed to a one year, $30 million deal for 2023 at the end of the 2022 season, a record deal for an arbitration-eligible player, and one that has him primed to become a free agent after the 2023 season.
The 28 year old Ohtani has spent five years with the Angels, with the team finishing below .500 each season, and with the Angels’ prospects for the 2023 season seeming uncertain, there has been talk that the two-way superstar would be dealt this offseason. We did a post a couple of weeks ago that examined what a Shohei Ohtani trade might look like, if the Rangers chose to get involved.
The fact that Angels owner Arte Moreno is looking to sell the team potentially complicates decisions regarding either trading or trying to extend Ohtani, although Minasian, per the link above, says that isn’t a factor in his decision-making.
Plans can change, of course, and I wouldn’t bet the house on Ohtani staying put this offseason. That said, the sort of definitive statement Minasian made about Ohtani not being dealt would seem to have some meaning, and it may be that the Angels would have to be blown away by an offer in order to move him before the 2023 season gets underway. In the meantime, the Angels have the opportunity to try to extend Ohtani, and if they can’t extend him and they are out of the race in July, they’ll have one of the most attractive trade chips on the market at the deadline.