There are local reports that Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels), whose season ended prematurely due to injury, will opt to move on rather than remain with the Angels next season. It is speculated that his decision to pack his locker ahead of the season-ending announcement is related to this.
According to Major League Baseball’s official website, MLB.com, the Angels officially announced Ohtani’s season-ending injury on Sunday by placing him on the 10-day disabled list. Angels general manager Perry Minasian held a press conference at Angels Stadium and said, “Ohtani continues to experience soreness in his right lateral oblique muscle. As a result, we have decided to end his season early.”
Ohtani is expected to go under the knife soon. “Ohtani will undergo elbow surgery for the 2024 season,” Minasian said. We do not yet know if it will be a ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) or if it will be a different area.”
Ohtani, a two-hitter, was forced to leave the game early after injuring his elbow while pitching against the Cincinnati Reds on March 24. A medical examination revealed damage to his right ulnar collateral ligament, and his batting career was cut short. He then complained of side pain during batting practice before a game against Baltimore on May 5, and missed 11 consecutive games. Despite Angels manager Phil Nevin’s prediction that he would be back in a day or two, the injury was prolonged.
In the meantime, Otani’s locker in the Angels’ clubhouse was spotted being cleaned out the day before, raising questions about his future. With multiple local media outlets predicting that Ohtani would be out for the season, the Angels announced an early end to the season the following day, with Ohtani placed on the disabled list as expected.
Now that his time with the Angels has come to an injury-riddled end, attention has turned to his destination when he becomes a free agent next season. According to Japan’s Tokyo Sports, “Having cleaned out his locker, Ohtani is expected to become a free agent in the upcoming offseason. It is becoming increasingly likely that he will leave the Angels as it is,” said a local source.
The Angels said of Ohtani’s locker cleanout, “Ohtani made this decision because he wants to return to the team as soon as possible. Even if he’s out for the season, he’s packing quickly because we need to get ready for the 2024 season as soon as possible.” “I’m sure he’ll get his right elbow surgery done as soon as possible and be ready for next season. He’s one of us,” and expressed a positive view.
However, Tokyo Sports reported that “there are voices among Major League Baseball officials that the Angels’ outlook is overly optimistic.” “Ohtani said he wanted to have a ‘brilliant September,’ but the team kept losing games. Injuries racked up, and repeated failures to reinforce the lineup led to poor results. To make matters worse, by the 15th, their chances of winning the district were completely extinguished,” he said in a pessimistic tone.
He quoted a major league source as saying, “The Angels are desperately trying to cover it up, but it’s clear that a rift has developed between Ohtani and the organization. When he becomes a free agent, he will leave the Angels. The Sept. 4 game against Oakland will likely be his last with the Angels.”안전놀이터
The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Red Sox are among the many teams that have been linked to Ohtani as he approaches free agency. It is widely believed among American media that Ohtani will sign a record-breaking contract worth more than $500 million (approx. KRW 665.5 billion).
“The fact that he packed his bags and left without saying goodbye to his teammates suggests that he didn’t want to leave the Angels with any regrets,” the source said, predicting a move next season.