The Los Angeles Angels It was announced Tuesday that owner Arte Moreno Initiated a formal process of evaluating “strategic alternatives” involving franchises, including potential sale. Moreno, who has owned The Angels since buying the franchise from Disney in 2003 at a cost of $184 million, said the following as part of his statement:
“While this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful attention, my family and I eventually came to the conclusion that the time had come. Throughout the process, we will continue to run the franchise in the best interests of our fans, employees, players, and business partners.”
If Moreno’s operation leads to a sale, that development will have major ramifications across the league, in large part because it could pave the way for a Shohei Ohtani deal. As CBS Sports reported last month, competing front offices believe the biggest obstacle to Ohtani’s trade is getting Moreno to sign it; If he’s out of the picture, the odds of an out-of-season deal increase.
It’s fair to wonder why the next owner would be okay with trading one of the best players in baseball, but the situation is similar to what Washington citizens I faced this last deadline with Juan Soto. Ohtani, 28, is a year away from free agency, at which point he is sure to demand a huge contract. The new owner will already have several large obligations on the books, including those made for Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, and will likely have to fend for himself financially to complete the purchase. As a result, they may shy away from another big decade – especially if they take a realistic view of where angels stand competitively.
The last point is crucial because Ohtani – a two-way sensation and AL MVP ruling – has a say in where he will play after next season. He’s publicly stated that his top priority is winning matches, making it possible – if not entirely possible – for angels to be at the bottom of his list of favorite suitors.
Let’s say the next angel owner accepts this reality, and Ohtani is put on the turn this off-season. Just what better difference to put in a deal? Here are five that spring to mind, presented below in order of perceived probability.
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The Dodgers were fascinated by Ohtani dating back to the time they tried to check him out of high school. He chose to play professionally in Japan instead, but it’s unlikely the Dodgers had any ill intentions about his decision. It’s no stranger to CEO Andrew Friedman doing blockbuster business deals, and the show’s best player development apparatus has once again armed him with a cast of the best youngsters to present to the Angels. Dodgers can pin a mix of catcher Diego Cartaya; Right: Bobby Miller, Ryan Piot, and Gavin Stone; And controllers Miguel Vargas and Michael Bush. The only potential obstacle in hunting down the Dodgers is if the Angels choose against relocating Ohtani to their biggest geographic rival.
The Mets have a lot of things working in their favour. Owner Stephen Cohen has repeatedly shown that he is willing to spend big on top talent; General Manager Billy Ebler is the same CEO who signed Otani in the first place; And the Mets have many outstanding young men who can float the way of angels. That group includes third rookie base player Brett Patty and catcher Francisco Alvarez, one of the game’s top potential players. The Mets could have one of their picks in the first round of last summer, whether it’s catcher Kevin Parada or shortstop Jet Williams. Unlike Juan Soto’s conversations, there’s no weirdness inside the sections getting in your way.
Speaking of Soto talks, it only makes sense to include one of the finalists. The Cardinal still has two of the best potential players as a junior, baseman/third defensive player Jordan Walker and Mason Wayne, and they have a slew of youngsters who could serve as minor pieces, including bowlers Cooper Hegerby, Gordon Grisvaux, and Matthew Liberator, and then Tank. The Cardinals have shown a willingness to pony in the past, and if Otani is serious about prioritizing winning above all else, he could do worse than settle in St. Louis for the long haul.
The Yankees are hard to read in these situations. It would make sense to be a landing point for Otani (and then again, most teams do too), but the question is, are they willing to let go of the possibilities it might take to get a deal done? Although the Yankees blunted the depth of their farming system by trading for Frankie Montas (and others) on Deadline, they were able to hold on to short-term prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Perazza. Outfielder player Jasson Dominguez is still in the system too, rumors New York was able to move him in the right trade. Another factor worth considering is how the Aaron Judge talks could affect the Yankees’ long-term financial plans, and their willingness to hand another huge deal next winter.
There are many other teams that may appear in Otani-related rumors this winter. We’ll cover our market with a team of wild cards: Rangers. If owner Ray Davis and general manager Chris Young want to put the John Daniels era behind them, they can take it one step further by adding Ohtani. The Rangers certainly have the potential means of striking a deal, as they have several notable youngsters in their ranch system, such as third baseman Josh Jong; right-wingers Jack Leiter, Owen White, Kumar Rucker, and Brooke Porter; And defensive player Evan Carter. It is possible that the presence of Rangers in the same division will reduce their chances of closing the deal; It’s also possible that Young wants to build from within, and that Davis would prefer not to hand another big contract, having received mixed results from Cory Seeger and Marcus Simin. However, if the Rangers are serious about making the proverbial leap, Ohtani should be one of their main targets this winter.
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