When Shohei Ohtani entered the MLB in 2018, it was pretty clear that baseball had a new generational talent on their hands. Ohtani hit 22 home runs and 61 RBIs in his rookie season.
These numbers would have been commendable alone. However, he also struck out 62 batters over 51 innings pitched. It became clear early on that Ohtani was a one-of-a-kind player.
"Shohei Ohtani wins for the second consecutive year!" - FOX Sports: MLB
Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Angels after a promising early career in Japan's NPB. Upon his ascension to the MLB, many thought it was only a matter of time before Ohtani came together with his teammates - most notably Mike Trout - to win a World Series.
However, things did not end up being so straight forward. Although Ohtani won the 2021 MVP Award for being the first player to hit 100 RBIs and throw 100 strikeouts, the team had nothing to show for it.
The Los Angeles Angels have not made the postseason since 2014, four years before Ohtani was even in the MLB. 2022 proved to be one of the most frustrating seasons ever for the Angels.
The team went on a franchise-worst 13 game losing streak in the early summer, which caused them to lose too much ground to divisional opponents. Despite leading the AL West before the slide, the Houston Astros quickly surpassed the Angels.
The period was one of immense frustration for fans, management and players. The team fired their manager Joe Maddon. Even Ohtani has publicly expressed doubt about the viability of his future on the team.
"Could Shohei Ohtani land a $500M contract when he hits Free Agency?" - Sportskeeda Baseball
Ohtani had signed a two-year deal worth $8.5 million with the Angels in 2021. After the 2022 season, he signed once again with the team for a one-year deal worth $30 million. In addition to his contract, Ohtani also has deals with Oakley, Topps and ASICS. In all, his net worth is roughly $15 million from all these streams.
Although a great talent, the future of Shohei Ohtani on the Angels is far from sure
The truth is, the Angels need to deliver a playoff appearance to their fans soon, or the legitimacy of the team is in doubt. Unless something big happens this year, it is highly unlikely that we will see Ohtani in an Angels jersey on Opening Day 2024.