The Los Angeles Angels have fallen on tough times.
"Tungsten Arm" O’Doyle never existed.
But MLB fans are intimately familiar with what he symbolizes.@SamBlum3 spoke with the creator of the meme that embodies the Angels' losing.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 11, 2022
They are 2-8 in their last 10, after coming off a 14-game losing streak in early June.
In that time the team has also gone from division hopefuls to 19 games back, a seemingly insurmountable deficit.
This has all come despite having two of the sport’s most transcendent athletes.
Is Mike Trout + Shohei Ohtani the most talented teammate duo of all time? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ZwB17r2tFF
— DraftKings (@DraftKings) July 11, 2022
While Trout has already inked his future with the team, having nine more seasons under contract, Ohtani has a choice.
After a dreadful season, there are reasons he may now be concerned about re-signing with the organization.
Dreaming Of The Playoffs
In Ohtani’s first four seasons with the Angels, the team has finished in fourth each year.
Where are they now?
Right in fourth.
While the current collapse seems more significant for the Halos, it is nothing out of the ordinary.
Angels WAR this season:
Ohtani + Trout (8.1)
Rest of entire roster (7.0)
I hate the Angels.
— Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) July 11, 2022
There is no reason for Ohtani to think the organization will change their ways and make a proper push for the playoffs.
While they have made big moves, the franchise has shown an inability to build around their stars.
Most of their big money moves have not panned out, leaving them with massive holes in their payroll and a lack of flexibility.
On top of this, the Angels boast the 27th ranked Minor League system, casting a shadow over what they may become in the future.
Looking at this from Ohtani’s view, the question is whether he’d be willing to endure more years of struggling before any potential playoff appearances.
While he valued personal fit over big market in his original decision to sign with the Angels, it will be interesting to see how this factors into his next contract.
How Long Will Trout Stay?
With the Angels never reaching the playoffs, much of the focus has shifted to Trout.
While the franchise has said publicly that they don’t want to move on from the star centerfielder, there is only so much a player can take.
Not only this, but the Angels also have to weigh the return they’d get for Trout and the difference that would make in the organization’s talent.
Pair a depleted farm system with a top-heavy payroll, and it isn’t very sustainable.
Ohtani must consider whether he’d be willing to stay on a Trout-less Angels if that time comes.
Shohei Ohtani, 100mph Fastball, 86mph Slider and 92mph Splitter, Overlay.
Good luck. 😳 pic.twitter.com/6YdKWSQJzY
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 7, 2022
He would become the complete face of the franchise, but would be left without MLB’s best player.
Because of this, Ohtani would be smart to second-guess any kind of long-term Angels deal.
If he were to sign a seven-plus year deal with the team, he could be stranded in a barren, winless organization.
One Last Chance For Angels
With Ohtani under team control though the 2023 season, the Angels have a couple options.
The first is to make a final effort next season to have a full buy-in around their stars.
They have the foundation, and a healthy Anthony Rendon with a flurry of other moves could lift the team to the playoffs.
Or, seeing the rising concerns around Ohtani leaving in free agency, the Angels could move him for a major package.
Either way, it’s becoming clearer that Ohtani’s future will likely not include the Angels.
People that deserve better:
— Angels TopPlays (@PlaysAngels) July 10, 2022
Ohtani is unbelievably good.
His accomplishments on a baseball field five years into his career are nearly unheard of in the sport’s history.
He deserves a chance to shine in the postseason, and that likely won’t come with the Angels in the foreseeable future.