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Monday, September 27, 2021

Shohei Ohtani, on future with Los Angeles Angels: ‘I want to win’

Shohei Ohtani might have locked up the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award on Sunday, with seven dominant innings against a visiting Seattle Mariners team still fighting for a spot in the postseason.

But his Los Angeles Angels ultimately lost for the 82nd time in 2021, solidifying something else: a sixth consecutive losing season in Anaheim, California.

Four of those have come with Ohtani on the team, the last of which occurred while he navigated arguably the most uniquely impressive season in baseball history. After Sunday’s 5-1 loss, Ohtani—ineligible for free agency until after the 2023 season—was asked if he wants to stay with the Angels long term.

“I really like the team,” Ohtani said through his interpreter, adding that he hasn’t spoken with the organization about a potential extension. “I love the fans, I love the atmosphere of the team, but more than that, I want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ll leave it at that.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:40 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shohei ohtani

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   1. bfan Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#6041932)
Get Trout back; sign one of the top-end free agent starters; win.
   2. salvomania Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:14 PM (#6041940)
They should also sign one of the big SS free agents.
   3. The Duke Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:16 PM (#6041941)
Shohei, sign with the cardinals!!! We never lose!!!! Ever!!!!!
   4. DFA Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:18 PM (#6041943)
The Angels have the 9th worst ERA in baseball. I would wonder if they are going to try and trade their top prospects for a SP in addition to signing a top flight SP. I wonder if a rebuilding club took Upton's contract off their hands, what kind of a prospect haul would they have to surrender? With Trout, Rendon and Shohei, their window should be now...
   5. salvomania Posted: September 27, 2021 at 02:32 PM (#6041949)
With Trout, Rendon and Shohei, their window should be now...

What's up with Rendon? I know he's been injured most of the season, but he'll be a 32-year-old 3B next year, and those guys have a short shelf life, historically, especially once they've been injured...
   6. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 27, 2021 at 03:27 PM (#6041963)
I REALLY don't want them to fall into the trap of trading away prospects again. Sandoval and Detmer look like real ones, and they need a few good players on rookie contracts if they're going to compete for the high-end contracts.

They're not actually that far from being a good team. They obviously need pitching but if there's health, then it's a line-up with Walsh, Fletcher, Rendon, Adell, Marsh, Trout, and Ohtani, with Upton as a platoon partner for Wash and Marsh. That's a lineup that'll score some runs.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6041973)
What happened with Fletcher this year? He looked like he was developing into a solid regular, but he was putrid this season.
   8. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6041977)
From the Japanese-speaking Shobaes on Twitter, the actual translation was far less aggressive than we're reading into it. Apparently, it's more along the lines of, "Yes, I'm frustrated. I really hope we will have more fun next September. I'm going to do my best to improve and help make that happen for the team. I think that's the best attitude for next season." He was talking more about what he needs to do, and less about what the team has to do.
   9. bfan Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6041979)
Apparently, it's more along the lines of, "Yes, I'm frustrated. I really hope we will have more fun next September. I'm going to do my best to improve and help make that happen for the team. I think that's the best attitude for next season." He was talking more about what he needs to do, and less about what the team has to do.


Sigh. Just another typically unselfish, committed Japanese guy who, although at the pinnacle of his profession, is willing to work harder and do better.
   10. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 27, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6041982)
What happened with Fletcher this year? He looked like he was developing into a solid regular, but he was putrid this season.
Through August 14: .305/.338/.377 in 483 PA
Since August 14: .145/.188/.158 in 160 PA

He was pretty good most of the season, but teams have gotten wise and opposite-shift on him pretty hard. He had so much success just slapping the ball to right and teams have adjusted, and he hasn't adjusted back yet, but he's not someone I worry about too much. His defense has been strong all season.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: September 27, 2021 at 05:30 PM (#6042012)
I wonder if a rebuilding club took Upton's contract off their hands, what kind of a prospect haul would they have to surrender?

Upton is just 1/$28, not a drag on the team. And have we yet seen an actual trade like this? A guy like Upton only gets traded one of two ways -- either there's some team out there willing to roll the dicge at (say) $8 M and the Angels toss in $20 and get a nothing prospect in return ... or the Angels take on some other team's good but overpriced player and Upton going the other way helps balance the money (e.g. the Cano trade). Given Upton has been below replacement for three straight years, his next stop is the waiver wire.

Upton was never consistently AS level but he was consistently good and, given his early start, looked like a good bet for some nice career totals -- maybe 2500 hits, certainly 400 HRs, 1200 RBI. Overnight it all went pear-shaped -- the offense, the defense apparently became atrocious, couldn't hit well enough to be a full-time DH especially with Ohtani around. The guy went from a consistent 3-4 WAR player to about -2 WAR overnight.
   12. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 27, 2021 at 07:20 PM (#6042031)
The guy went from a consistent 3-4 WAR player to about -2 WAR overnight.
Injuries, the bane of the over-30 ballplayer.
   13. DFA Posted: September 27, 2021 at 07:28 PM (#6042032)
And have we yet seen an actual trade like this?


Braves acquired Touki Touissant and Bronson Arroyo's contract. Orioles paid for much of Alex Cobb's contract this year for Jahmai Jones. So it happens.
   14. Astroenteritis Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#6042047)
If all he wants to do is win, he just needs to sign with the Dodgers.
   15. homerwannabee Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6042050)
Since were on the subject of Ohtani and it's that time of season, how many of you have Vlad Jr over Ohtani for MVP?
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:33 PM (#6042054)
Since were on the subject of Ohtani and it's that time of season, how many of you have Vlad Jr over Ohtani for MVP?

It should be nobody. Lots of guys have done what Vlad is doing; no one has ever done what Ohtani is doing.

That would be true even if Vlad was having a better season. Given that Ohtani is beating him 8.9 to 6.7 in bWAR, and 7.9 to 6.6 in fWAR, Guerrero shouldn't get a single first place vote.

   17. Howie Menckel Posted: September 27, 2021 at 11:33 PM (#6042061)
I mentioned a month ago that Harold Reynolds on MLB Network not only said that Vlad Jr SHOULD be MVP if the Jays make the playoffs, he predicted that was exactly what the voters would do in that scenario.

quite the leap from a weird, singular "hot take" to a preposterous prediction.

I now root for the Jays to steal a wild card just to find out....
   18. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6042064)
Orioles paid for much of Alex Cobb's contract this year for Jahmai Jones. So it happens.

No, that's the exact opposite. Your excample is the O's acquiring a minor-leaguer by picking up the tab for one of their vets. That's a standard trade, a type I explicitly mentioned. Given Jones is rated the O's 18th best prospect at mlb.com he's not a prospect. That was "nobody wants Cobb for $15 M but we can give him away and save $5 M at least." That would be the Angels trading Upton and $20 M for a minimal prospect in return ... which requires finding a team that thinks Upton is worth $8 M.

So let's be clear -- any trade in which the Angels end up paying for most of Upton's contract is a standard salary dump trade, they're just saving whatever money they can get out from under. I am asking about trades where a team in the Angels position give up a legit prospect in order to also trade an expensive vet like Upton without the Angels paying for Upton.

The Toussaint + Arroyo trade is in fact an example. So that's one trade 6 years ago. (FWIW, a month later the Braves screwed up and swapped some actual talent and Arroyo's contract for (mainly) Hector Oliveira's contract.)
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 28, 2021 at 01:29 AM (#6042071)
I mentioned a month ago that Harold Reynolds on MLB Network not only said that Vlad Jr SHOULD be MVP if the Jays make the playoffs, he predicted that was exactly what the voters would do in that scenario.
Pedro Martinez made a somewhat similar argument on the MLB Network today, noting how many more innings in the field Guerrero had over Ohtani, and suggesting his own failure to win the MVP, and that of David Ortiz, meant that playing in the field was important for the MVP. Wasn’t paying enough attention to remember whether Pedro thought Guerrero should win, or just that the gap between him & Ohtani was closer than many have suggested. I doubt that many voters will be swayed.
   20. Scott Ross Posted: September 28, 2021 at 05:43 AM (#6042075)
Pedro's still trying to justify the MVP snubs he suffered in 1999 and 2000.
   21. bfan Posted: September 28, 2021 at 07:18 AM (#6042077)
If all he wants to do is win, he just needs to sign with the Dodgers.


Although he is a bit of a hybrid, Ohtani will need to get his Cy Young before the dodgers allow him to start. There is a "too young to win it but will soon enough" exception, but Ohtani might be too old for that one.
   22. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 28, 2021 at 07:31 AM (#6042078)
Since were on the subject of Ohtani and it's that time of season, how many of you have Vlad Jr over Ohtani for MVP?


I'm a huge Jays fan and I would be very surprised if Vladdy Jr. gets more than one 1st place vote.
(I'm accounting for someone trying to make a name for themselves or get clicks.)

Ohtani would get my 1st place vote without hesitation. Vladdy's season is amazing, but Ohtani's season is a god damn unicorn.

Interestingly, Marcus Semien is having an MVP level season (6.5 fWAR [2nd among position-only AL players], 7.2 bWAR [2nd overall in the AL]) and he will get zero 1st or 2nd place votes. It's one of the best seasons in a long time to not get any votes that high (barring someone going crazy).
   23. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 28, 2021 at 10:34 AM (#6042103)
Interestingly, Marcus Semien is having an MVP level season (6.5 fWAR [2nd among position-only AL players], 7.2 bWAR [2nd overall in the AL]) and he will get zero 1st or 2nd place votes. It's one of the best seasons in a long time to not get any votes that high (barring someone going crazy).

Yeah, his season has been bananas. A good fielding 2B with 43 HRs, 100+ R/RBI, 15/16 in steals - and he's not getting any mention. Not even in a "he could take votes away from Vlad" kind of way.

I think Ohtani has it sewn up. Even if Vlad goes nuts this week as the Jays overtake NYY or BOS, I don't think it will be close. There are a couple of players with Vlad-type seasons every year; not so for Ohtani.
   24. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 28, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#6042126)
There's no "I" in team. Not that team, anyway.
   25. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 28, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6042127)



I now root for the Jays to steal a wild card just to find out....


I don't think it's a steal if they make it.
   26. Rally Posted: September 28, 2021 at 03:59 PM (#6042160)
Vladito is actually 3rd on his own team in WAR - behind Semien but also Robbie Ray.
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 28, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6042167)
Interestingly, Marcus Semien is having an MVP level season (6.5 fWAR [2nd among position-only AL players], 7.2 bWAR [2nd overall in the AL]) and he will get zero 1st or 2nd place votes. It's one of the best seasons in a long time to not get any votes that high (barring someone going crazy).

It's the best such season since...Marcus Semien in 2019! :)

In 2019, he was 2nd in the league in WAR, but finished 3rd in the MVP voting. All the 1st and 2nd place votes went to Trout (1st in MVP, 3rd in WAR) and Bregman (1st in WAR, 2nd in MVP).

[I also wouldn't be so sure that nobody will throw Semien a #2 vote.]
   28. John Northey Posted: September 28, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6042189)
Come to Toronto and play with Vlad. Now that would be quite entertaining eh?
   29. DFA Posted: September 29, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6042274)
No, that's the exact opposite. Your excample is the O's acquiring a minor-leaguer by picking up the tab for one of their vets. That's a standard trade, a type I explicitly mentioned. Given Jones is rated the O's 18th best prospect at mlb.com he's not a prospect. That was "nobody wants Cobb for $15 M but we can give him away and save $5 M at least." That would be the Angels trading Upton and $20 M for a minimal prospect in return ... which requires finding a team that thinks Upton is worth $8 M.


This is really a semantics argument. Jahmai Jones had been a top 100 guy, a player the Angels sent to the AFL. The Orioles paid half the freight to the Angels to acquire Jones. You can say he wasn't a prospect if that suits your argument, but it doesn't mean it was true at the time. In 2021, Jahmai Jones's defense didn't improve, hence his slide down the prospect rankings. But really, none of it matters, as the Angels can add a prospect to go along some other team taking on Upton's unsightly contract, which could afford the Angels additional flexibility. Which is the root of the issue, does it make sense for the Angels to package Upton's contract with a prospect so that they can reallocate that money to sign a better free agent? The Orioles didn't have to trade Alex Cobb, they found a taker, sweetened the pot but throwing in some pretty coin, and secured a flawed prospect for their trouble.. Touki Toussaint was a prospect that the Braves bought by taking on Arroyo's contract.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 09:59 AM (#6042306)
Frustrated Ohtani makes it clear: Improve Angels or he's gone

But he also intimated he wasn't pleased with the state of the team.
Asked if he wanted to remain with the Angels, Ohtani replied, "I like the fans. I like the atmosphere in the organization. But my feelings to wanting to win are stronger."
The remark was even more damning considering what Ohtani said earlier in response to a question by Bill Shaikin of The Times.
Reminding Ohtani he could be a free agent after two more seasons, Shaikin asked if he thought he could win with the Angels and if he wanted to stay with them. Ohtani's interpreter instead asked Ohtani whether he thought the Angels could reach the playoffs in the next two years.
Ohtani's response: "I wonder."
Ohtani went on to talk about how the Angels battled well through the first half of the season, even as Trout and Anthony Rendon were sidelined, only for their motivation to weaken in the recent months.
"I don't think we can win with the way things are," he said.
He offered a more detailed view of what happened in an interview that was published in a recent edition of Number, Japan's leading sports magazine. He said staying motivated was difficult in an organization that "didn't add any reinforcements [at the trade deadline] and continued to play with a team that was still weak."
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:14 AM (#6042316)
Frustrated Ohtani makes it clear: Improve Angels or he's gone


He's not a FA, the Angels control him for two more years.
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:26 AM (#6042321)
Yea, I think Dylan Hernandez went into hyperole a bit. Ohtani's statements were fairly measured. He wants the team to get better and he's a bit frustrated.
   33. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6042323)
am asking about trades where a team in the Angels position give up a legit prospect in order to also trade an expensive vet like Upton without the Angels paying for Upton


The Sox gave up a decent former infield prospect (had to be converted to the outfield to stick in the majors though) to get rid of half of David Price's contract. That trade was pretty recent.
   34. bunyon Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6042324)
Not a FA for two years? That means negotiations start in a year. And setting that up starts (looks at standings) as soon as the Angels are out of it this year.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6042326)
Not a FA for two years? That means negotiations start in a year. And setting that up starts (looks at standings) as soon as the Angels are out of it this year.

So what? There's nothing they can do right now. Given the injury risk, I doubt you'd want to extend Ohtani super-early. They also have tremendous uncertainty with Trout and Rendon.

All they can do is try and improve in the off-season, and then see where they are mid-2022. Then they can think about negotiations with Ohtani (if he's healthy and they're playing well), or preparing to trade him, if Trout is hurt again.
   36. bunyon Posted: September 29, 2021 at 11:56 AM (#6042328)
I wasn't really suggesting the Angels or Ohtani DO anything now other than what they're doing. Just saying the idea that he's not a FA for two years, so what he's saying/feeling now doesn't matter isn't right. I thought he was very professional and calm in what he said but it also seems clear if he doesn't see signs of hope, he's not sticking around. Which may be obvious.

   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6042333)
I wasn't really suggesting the Angels or Ohtani DO anything now other than what they're doing. Just saying the idea that he's not a FA for two years, so what he's saying/feeling now doesn't matter isn't right. I thought he was very professional and calm in what he said but it also seems clear if he doesn't see signs of hope, he's not sticking around. Which may be obvious.


I don't disagree with any of that. My point is just that whatever he feels now doesn't really matter, since there's no decision to be made. If he was super down on the club, thinking they'll always suck, that would probably change if they're ten games up next July with Trout, Rendon and him all putting up MVP numbers. Likewise, if he was super positive on the Angels today, he probably wouldn't be if they play .350 ball next year with Trout and Rendon hurt again.
   38. bunyon Posted: September 29, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6042336)
Sure. I just wonder if the Angels are complacent given Trout's behavior. I don't think Ohtani is super down on them. But letting them know he won't stick around just cause is not a bad idea.

They really need to get something around those three. I mean, if two of the three don't play because of injuries, that's one thing and you can't really guard against that.

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