Shohei Ohtani’s Future in Anaheim Remains a Mystery

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Angels general manager Perry Minasian said on Saturday that he wasn’t surprised when owner Arte Moreno took the team off the market, but when asked how that move will impact Shohei Ohtani’s future at the Big A, not much was said. 

“We love Shohei Ohtani. Obviously, there’s nothing more we’d like to see than him in this uniform for a long time. You know, obviously, that’s something that we all love to see. But that being said, from a negotiation standpoint, I don’t negotiate in public. But again, we’ve been able to create a great relationship with Shohei,” said Minasian. 

The two-way superstar is currently under a one-year $30 million contract with the Halos. Financially, the team falls in the top ten for highest payrolls in Major League Baseball, but in order to keep Ohtani in an Angels uniform, Moreno would have to significantly expand that payroll — an option that is on the table, according to Minasian. 

“Knowing the individual (Moreno) and knowing how much he wants to win, I wouldn’t put anything out of the realm of possibility,” he said.

In his first five years with the team, Ohtani has yet to experience a winning season or win a playoff game. Whether this history will factor into his future choices, Minasian didn’t say. Instead, he focused on Ohtani’s hunger for the game and dedication to his current club. 

“He is an all in guy,” said Minasian. “He’s just as invested as anybody in this club. And he’s — like myself — expecting us to have a really good year.” 

Throughout the offseason, Minasian said he’s been in contact with Ohtani, constantly talking about ways to make the team more competitive while also improving his own personal game. 

At one point this offseason, Minasian said Ohtani even asked if he could practice in the outfield. Minasian shut that idea down, jokingly telling the crowd, “He almost gave me a heart attack.” 

As for Ohtani, he’s currently in Arizona, gearing up for spring training and working out in the complex. Minasian said he will make one start on the mound before traveling to Japan on March 1 to compete in the World Baseball Classic. 

“He’s preparing for the season. He’s doing everything he needs to do to be ready to go when the bell rings, and he’ll get the proper work in when he needs it. He’s the least of my concerns.” 

Ohtani and Mike Trout are set to compete in the WBC, but in their absence, Minasian explained that the Angels camp will look slightly larger this year than it has ever been, with several more prospects receiving invitations including right handed relief prospect, Ben Joyce. 

As for information on how the offseason changes will affect the offensive and defensive lineups, Minasian said he’s leaving that responsibility up to manager Phil Nevin.

Regarding changes in the outfield following the addition of Hunter Renfroe, Minasian said, “We’ll wait on the manager for that one. So Phil makes the lineup out. That’s something that I’m strong on, I believe in. We’re really excited to add Hunter. I think he has the ability to play all three if he needed to. Very productive in left over the course of his career, can play right, one of the best arms in all of baseball, obviously huge power, which we need.” 

On the mound, the team is still looking for a sixth starter to join Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez and Reid Detmers. Minasian said that they have some promising internal options such as Charles Silseth, who pitched for the Angels last season and relief pitcher, Jaime Barria. However, they’re not opposed to bringing someone new in if it’s the right fit. 

“We’ll continue to examine the bullpen,” said Minasian. “Even enhancing our position player group is not out of the realm of possibility. We’re still having conversations, dialogue. We’ll see where it goes.” 


On Feb. 4, the Angels announced their official jersey patch partner — Foundation Building Materials. The Angels will debut the new patch on their jerseys on Feb. 25 when they play the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, Arizona for their first spring training game. This is the first time in Angels history that the team has had an official jersey patch partner.

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