Over the course of a long MLB season and then free agent negotiations and trade talks (plus the draft, international scouting, and other activities), teams have lots of difficult decisions to make.
The Los Angeles Angels have certainly made their fair share of hard decisions.
The one they made this week, however, was certainly not one of them.
March 30: Shohei Ohtani Day pic.twitter.com/ayMxoS6mmU
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) February 16, 2023
The team confirmed what we all knew and assumed for weeks: Shohei Ohtani will take the ball on Opening Day on March 30.
Ohtani is not just the best starting pitcher the Angels have on their roster: he is one of the best pitchers in the league.
In fact, with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 166 frames, he should have been at the very least a Cy Young award finalist.
He wasn’t, though: Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays, Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox, and the winner, Justin Verlander, were the finalists.
Oh, and he did all that from the mound while homering 34 times and posting a .875 OPS as a hitter.
No one in the world can do what he does with so much efficiency and flair.
He is truly a one-of-a-kind player.
Ohtani will be in the Angels’ camp for a few days, until early March, before heading off to Japan’s training camp to play in his first World Baseball Classic with his country.
He will play out the 2023 season with the Angels unless he is traded, and will become a free agent after the World Series.
He has a chance to be baseball’s first $500 million player.NEXT: MLB Insider Reveals Terms Of The Matt Moore Deal