Los Angeles Angels sale could keep Shohei Ohtani in town

Aug 22, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Angels pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts after a called strike in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Angels pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts after a called strike in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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The questions are only beginning with the Los Angeles Angels and Shohei Ohtani.

It had seemed as though he was on his way out the door. Between trade speculation prior to the deadline and his statements about how it is difficult to remain motivated with all the losing, Ohtani appeared to be counting down the days until he could find a better situation.

Maybe Shohei Ohtani stays with Los Angeles Angels after all

But maybe that has changed. Owner Arte Moreno has said that he is looking into selling the Angels, removing what may be the biggest obstacle to their ability to compete. His 20 years overseeing the Angels, and ability to waste two of the best players in baseball, could be coming to an end.

Such a move could keep Ohtani in Los Angeles. Alden Gonzalez from ESPN reported that a rival executive had guessed that the Angels would sell for $3 billion. Ohtani, and his ability to generate revenue from Japan, would be an important factor in that price tag. As he noted, this would provide extra motivation for a new ownership group to keep him in town.

In theory, that would involve a long term extension. Such a deal is going to be difficult due to Ohtani’s unique nature as he is not just a top of the rotation starter, but also an impact player in the Angels’ lineup. He could easily receive a record breaking deal, either in free agency or in a hypothetical extension.

However, it is not necessarily about the money. Ohtani has been very clear in his desire to play for a team that can not only contend for a playoff berth but can actually win a championship. If a sale is completed this offseason, any new owners would have a year to convince Ohtani that they are going to get him the pieces needed to do just that.

That is going to be a tall order. Unless whoever owns the Angels this offseason is willing to open the checkbook to make major improvements to the roster, the Angels are going to continue to flounder. It is possible to make progress towards the goal of contending next year, but that may not be enough to keep Ohtani in town.

That is going to be the biggest question that any new ownership group will have to face. The Angels are going to be more valuable with him on the roster, but can they afford to keep him and contend? And will he even want to stay in the first place?

Next. Angels could see big changes with new owner. dark

A possible sale of the Los Angeles Angels could keep Shohei Ohtani in town. However, a sale also leads to more questions about his future.