The Los Angeles Dodgers have not done much this offseason with many fans looking ahead to the future. Shohei Ohtani is the premier prize of next winter with Juan Soto looming as a potential target the following offseason.
Ohtani is going to do what he has done throughout his MLB career and will turn the league upside down. No player in MLB history has had as much value as Ohtani will have when he becomes a free agent after the 2023 season. It's going to take a record-setting contract to snag Ohtani and the Dodgers have the means to offer that.
The Los Angeles Angels are going to do everything in their power to ensure Ohtani signs before becoming a free agent — that is, except for selling the team. After announcing that the Angels were up for sale in August and reportedly getting offers of $2.5 billion, Arte Moreno decided to pull out of selling the franchise he bought in 2003.
Arte Moreno's cold feet increase the chances of Shohei Ohtani joining the Dodgers
Moreno deciding not to sell the Angels does not guarantee that Ohtani is going to drive up I-5 and become a Dodger. However, the odds of Ohtani staying in Anaheim seemed a lot more likely when there were prospects of there being a new owner.
There are two reasons for this. First, whoever purchased the Angels would immediately try and make an impact move. We see it with every ownership change across every sport. There would be no bigger move than to sign Ohtani to a record-setting deal before he even became a free agent.
More importantly, Moreno remaining the owner of the franchise ensures the Angels will continue to. be stuck in neutral -- at best. You know someone is a bad owner when every single fan outright complains on social media when you decide not to sell the team. Mediocrity comes from the top, and it starts with Moreno.
Just look at the Dodgers as a perfect example of what good ownership can bring you. The Frank McCourt era was arguably the worst in franchise history. One year after he sold the team to Guggenheim, the Dodgers started a 10-year postseason streak that they still have alive to this day.
Ohtani has made it very clear that he wants to win. Even if the team has marginal success in 2023, with Moreno at the helm, that might not be possible. Ohtani may not have the same blind faith that Mike Trout had.
The Dodgers were already one of the frontline candidates for Ohtani before he joined the Angels and if the universal DH would have existed five years ago then he might've never been an Angel. Now is his chance to join the Dodgers, who are the premier franchise of the entire sport.
This would not be the first time that Moreno pulling out of a deal helped the Dodgers. If Ohtani truly wants to win, then Moreno may have just guaranteed his future of leaving Anaheim.
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