Angels Could Be Using Shohei Ohtani to Boost Their Sale, Which is Potentially Bad News

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Angels Could Be Using Shohei Ohtani to Boost Their Sale, Which is Potentially Bad News

Chicago Cubs

It’s rare that you would talk about any individual baseball player as having an impact on – or having any relation to – a team sale. As a line item in the budget, one player’s salary usually doesn’t move the needle enough to impact a multi-billion-dollar sale. As an individual human, one player usually doesn’t move the needle in the perceived value of a franchise. And as an employee on a limited contract, one player is sometimes just too transient to even be seen as long-term enough to relate to a sale.

But, not unlike his two-way superstardom, Shohei Ohtani is not a typical player. So if any player was going to impact the sale of a team, it was going to be Ohtani.

To that point, and with a hopeful eye on Ohtani being traded this offseason or otherwise hitting free agency after next season, I was … concerned to see this report in the NY Post:

Word going around the game is that the Angels may set a record at $2.5B with their franchise sale, and Shohei Ohtani may pay off yet again, as there’s word a major Japanese company is among many suitors showing interest ….

(S)ome estimates suggest Ohtani brings in $20M to $35M in extra revenue (it’s hard to know exactly).

We know that, in addition to being supremely valuable on the field, Ohtani is valuable as a marketing asset for his organization. Massively valuable, apparently. That is, presumably, not just because he’s an “MLB Superstar,” but also because of his connection to Japan and that market.

So, then, if a “major Japanese company” were to get seriously involved in the bidding for the Angels in the coming months, then there is ZERO chance that Ohtani will be traded. Moreover, if that suitor were to win the bidding and be in line to actually buy the team, it would be reasonable to assume they would be doing so with a specific plan in place to extend Ohtani, whatever the cost.

In other words, if you were hoping Shohei Ohtani would hit the market soon – either in trade (and subsequent extension) this offseason, or in free agency after 2023 – this would seem a troubling development. The Cubs had been connected, loosely, to a pursuit of Ohtani, and we know there was mutual interest there in the past at some level. So this is a potential bummer.

I guess now I’m going to be tracking this Angels sale even more closely than I already was …

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.