Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian toned down a winter of speculation on Monday before it could begin by announcing he would not trade two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani this offseason. Ohtani, who will be eligible for free agency this time next year, will at least begin the 2023 campaign as a member of the Angels roster, per Minasian.
Minasian’s declaration may come as a surprise given that the Angels listened to inquiries about Ohtani at the trade deadline, and that they finished the season with a 73-89 record. Ohtani, for his part, has voiced his displeasure with how the Angels performed in 2022. Upon arriving in Japan last month, he said that August and September dragged on and that he has a “rather negative impression of this season.”
Nevertheless, explaining why teams do things is part our business here at CBS Sports, so we decided to highlight four reasons why the Angels seem content to stand pat with Ohtani throughout the offseason, thereby taking the risk that they won’t receive as good of compensation (either through trade or him leaving via free agency) as they could if they acted now.
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1. Moreno still owns the team
Back in July, we noted that other front offices believed the biggest hurdle to an Ohtani trade was owner Arte Moreno’s unwillingness to sign off on a deal. Sure enough, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported after the deadline that “Moreno told folks in his front office he simply could not trade Ohtani while Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon were out with injuries.”
Moreno has since announced his intent to pursue a potential sale of the team, but it’s unclear how much progress he’s made on that front, or when a deal could be finalized. For the time…