The Los Angeles Angels declared that they would not sell ‘hot potato’ Shohei Ohtani, 29, six days before the trade deadline last summer. They received various trade offers, but after internal discussions, decided to hold onto Ohtani. The team immediately moved quickly to acquire pitching as a buyer in the trade market.

To bolster their biggest weakness, the mound, they made a big move to acquire All-Star starter Lucas Giolito and bullpen arm Reynaldo Lopez from the Chicago White Sox. At the time of the trade on July 27, the Angels were 52-94 and in the sixth American League (AL) wild card spot, four games behind the third-place Toronto Blue Jays, with their fall baseball hopes still alive.

They also acquired veteran first baseman C.J. Cron and outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Colorado Rockies in a trade. The hemorrhaging of minor league prospects was a gamble for fall baseball, but it paid off prematurely in a month of disastrous failure. Giolito, a key piece of the trade, struggled mightily with the Angels, going 1-5 with a 6.89 ERA in six starts.

In the absence of Mike Trout, who underwent surgery for a fractured fibula and is out indefinitely, the Angels were forced to rely heavily on Ohtani, and the team’s performance plummeted. In August, the Angels went 8-19 (.296) for a winning percentage of less than three percent. Ohtani’s season as a pitcher came to an end on Aug. 24 when ligament damage was discovered in his elbow after he was removed from the game two of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.

Six days later, on Aug. 30, the Angels began the process of clearing the roster by placing veterans on waivers, including Giolito, Lopez, and Grichuk, who were acquired in a trade. To make matters worse, Ohtani, who was out for the season as a pitcher and continued to play as a designated hitter, went down with a right oblique strain on September 5.

Despite hoping it wasn’t a major injury, Ohtani delayed his return to the field and ended up on the 17-day disabled list, ending his season as a hitter. Without Ohtani, the Angels went 4-11 (.267) in September. By October 17, they were 68-81 (.456) and their fall baseball dreams were over.

The result was a season where the Angels had nothing left and should have traded Ohtani at the trade deadline. The Angels were unlikely to retain Ohtani, who is a free agent after the season, and could have used the trade to acquire prospects and build for the future. Instead, they failed to fight for fall ball, and will have to settle for a draft pick at best when Ohtani becomes a free agent.

The question was asked of Angels general manager Perry Minasian, who met with and other local media outlets at Angels Stadium on Sunday after the team announced Ohtani’s season-ending injury. “I think it was the right decision given the situation we were in at the time. “In hindsight, you can say we should have traded him, but given where we were in the standings and how we were playing at the time, it was the right decision not to trade him, and I wouldn’t change that decision if the same situation came up again,” he said, adding that he doesn’t regret not selling Ohtani. “It’s a terrible outcome, but at the time it was worth the risk, and I can’t say I regret it now.” The Angels still have to re-sign Ohtani in free agency.

토토사이트 The team is still hopeful of re-signing Ohtani as a free agent. “I think he’s really enjoyed his time here, and he’s had the best three years ever (as a full-time two-hitter starting in 2021). I’m sure he enjoyed his time with his teammates, the fans, and the team. We have a lot of trust in each other and good communication. I hope he stays here for a long time,” he said.

Realistically, there’s no way Ohtani will stay. When asked about the possibility of Ohtani leaving the team, Minassian said, “We still have about two weeks left in the regular season. We’ll start thinking about next season after that, but we have to be ready for anything. We don’t know what will happen, but we like our young players and we want to build a team around them.” “This year was a crazy season, a lot of things happened that shouldn’t have happened. We learned a lot and found things we need to improve,” he said, adding that the team will use this year’s failures as a mirror to build a better team.

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