Your 2015 Winter Meetings Wrap-up

8 Comments

The 2015 Winter Meetings are over. They weren’t quite as crazy as some Winter Meetings of the past few years. Indeed, there are a ton of players left on the market. More so than we tend to see by the time we wrap the Meetings up. But there was still no shortage of excitement this year, so let’s look back at what went down and see what it means for what might happen next.

First, some features we wrote this week which, if you missed them and have a bit of time on your hands, are well worth your time if we do say so ourselves:

 

Then there was some breaking news. Breaking news this time of year that isn’t specifically about trades and signings is usually bad news. There was no exception this year:

 

Finally, of course, the transactions. Which are really the point of the Winter Meetings, at least for the folks in the major league offices. There were a lot of them this week, but only a handful that were truly, truly major. If you’re a free agent position player you’re likely still out there looking for a job. If you’re a relief pitcher, however, you probably got a multi-year deal some time since Monday. Heck, even if you used to be a relief pitcher you probably got one.

There are still a lot of good players out there. Justin Upton. Yoenis Cespedes. Jason Heyward. Alex Gordon. Chris Davis. Johnny Cueto. Ian Desmond. Mike Leake. Just a ton of them, really.

Which is fine with us. There are over two months until pitchers and catchers report and nary a baseball game to hold our interest until then. If MLB wants to spread this out evenly, we’re just fine with it, frankly.

For now, though, another Winter Meetings is in the bag. And it’s time for a long Winter’s Nap. Well, at least until tomorrow morning when I’ll be up at the crack of dawn as usual, slingin’ rumors and stuff.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.