The US’The Athletic’ 안전놀이터 announced on the 18th (Korean time) that Shohei Ohtani, who will qualify as a free agent (FA) after the 2023 season ends, is discussing the retention of the Los Angeles Angels. raised doubts.
Ohtani played in 155 games as a hitter in the 2021 season, with 138 hits, 46 home runs, 100 RBIs, 103 points, 26 stolen bases, a batting average of 0.257 OPS of 0.965, and pitcher in 23 games (130⅓ innings), recording 9 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 3.18. Ohtani broke numerous records in the major leagues through both pitching and hitting, and as a result of his performance that will go down in history, he won the ‘unanimous’ American League MVP title.
The ‘double sword’ sensation did not stay in one season. Last year, Ohtani appeared in 157 games at bat, with 160 hits, 34 homers, 95 RBIs, 90 points, 11 stolen bases, a batting average of 0.273 OPS 0.875, and digested 166 innings in 28 games on the mound, leaving a record of 15 wins, 9 losses, and an ERA of 2.33. He did not win the MVP award for the second consecutive year, but it was clear that he showed a tremendous performance comparable to the 2021 season.
With the 2022 season over and the opening of the 2023 season approaching, Ohtani is a hot potato. The reason is that Ohtani will be eligible for free agency after the 2023 season ends. Although he has not yet qualified as a free agent, the heat for Ohtani is hot. American media outlets estimate Ohtani’s ransom at 500 million dollars (approximately 650 billion won), and anticipate that the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and New York Mets will participate.
It is highly likely that numerous clubs will show interest in Ohtani, but it is clear that Ohtani’s club, the Angels, will never lose. According to the New York Post, owner Art Moreno, who recently withdrew the sale of the Angels, said, “We have a better chance than Nougat. Our team’s annual salary is in the top 10 in the major leagues. It’s not impossible,” he said confidently.
Mike Trout, a player representing the Angels and a major league ‘signboard star’, also openly sent a love call to Ohtani. In a recent interview with ‘MLB.com’, Trout said, “I have never talked to Ohtani about the future. The most important thing is to do what Ohtani himself thinks is right. If you think it is right to stay on the team, then you should do it.” “Even if you have a different idea, I will try to convince you somehow,” he emphasized.
However, Ohtani is reticent about staying with the Angels. Immediately after the start of the spring camp, Ohtani had time for interviews with media outlets from around the world, including the United States. Naturally, questions about free agency poured in to Ohtani, and he only repeated the words, ‘I will focus on the present’. It’s because he knows how big a wave his own words will bring.
Accordingly, the American’The Athletic’ predicted that Ohtani would not remain with the Angels. The media said, “Ohtani didn’t say much in the interview, and showed an evasive look on purpose. Ohtani said, ‘I will focus on the season.’ was repeated. He left everyone guessing because he deftly dodged questions about his future.”
‘The Athletic’ said, “Ohtani insisted on ‘present’ when asked about his future. It may be that he did not want to create a story, recognizing that a word would be huge news,” but “Ohtani at least renewed the contract. He could have expressed his intention or interest, and he could have said, ‘The team is ready to win right now,’ or ‘I felt ready to move forward,’ but he didn’t do either.”
Ohtani is likely to be at the center of major league buzz this season. Many people’s attention is bound to be focused on what decision Ohtani will make.