Shohei Ohtani (29), a pitching player for the Los Angeles Angels who will qualify for free agency after the 2023 season, he kept quiet about it.
Ohtani, who is training at Diablo Stadium, the club’s spring camp training ground in Tempe, Arizona, USA, had an interview with local media such as ‘AP’ on the 17th (Korean time). It was the first time he opened his mouth after joining the camp.
He said at this spot, “This year (before obtaining FA qualification) is the last year. I know this well,” he said. “Now I am an Angels player
. And I will focus only on this,” he said, revealing his thoughts.
Ohtani has successfully settled in the major leagues as a two-time pitcher, building a brilliant career with the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year, 2021 MVP, two All-Stars, and one Silver Slugger.
The problem is that his team has not been successful. In the past five years he has been with the Angels, he has not even exceeded a 50% win rate, let alone a playoff once.
Three coaches went through: Mike Scioscia, Brad Osmer, and Joe Madden, but none of them saved the team.
The 2023 season is also dominated by the expectation that if the Angels show a disappointing performance, they will leave the team after this season. There are also predictions that he may be traded before then.
Opening up the possibility of extending the contract with the Angels, he said, “I am not an expert on the FA market. It’s something he’s never been through. That’s why I’m not sure how it will feel,” he said again, sparing his words about FA.
Instead, he did not hide his greed for victory. “I firmly believe that my team wants to win like me,” he said, raising his voice that the team would also want to win.
Director Phil Nevin said, “People will definitely care about that. However, Ohtani surprises me more than anything else with his amazing mental strength,” said Ohtani, who will overcome such a situation with his strong mental strength.