Mike Trout has said that if the Los Angeles Angels can “get” to the MLB playoffs this season, it would then give the team a “shot” in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes later this year.
Ohtani is set to hit free agency after the 2023 season. The two-time All-Star signed off on a one-year, $30 million deal in October to avoid arbitration for the 2023 campaign.
The Angels are reportedly hopeful that Ohtani will opt to stay put in Anaheim past this season. They also reportedly have no plans to soon trade the one-time American League MVP Award winner.
Trout sees that for the Angels to have a chance to sign Ohtani to a new deal, the team must first snap its lengthy playoff drought.
“Ultimately, it’s going to come down if we get to the playoffs,” Trout told the New York Post. “That could put a thought in his mind — that could give us a shot.”
The Angels’ last appearance in the postseason came back in the 2014 campaign. They won the American League West with a 98-64 record, but they were eventually swept in the ALDS at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. Overall, Los Angeles has finished under the .500 mark in each of the last seven seasons.
In the big picture, Ohtani is not expected to have a shortage of suitors interested in signing him to a blockbuster contract later in the year. For one, the San Diego Padres reportedly “plan to be all in” for the slugger.
Ohtani has recorded an OPS+ of 132 to go along with a 0.86 ERA so far this season.
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