The Los Angeles Angels are a cautionary tale in extreme waste. Despite boasting the services of two of the best players the league has ever seen in dual threat extraordinaire Shohei Ohtani and outfielder Mike Trout, the Angels have made the postseason only once over the past decade. And with the clock ticking on Ohtani’s stay with the Angels, things may go from bad to worse yet for a team that’s experienced enough misfortune for an entire lifetime.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Angels are facing a slew of unenviable decisions as they decide on Ohtani’s future with the franchise in the upcoming months. The Angels notably refused to pull the trigger on a potential Shohei Ohtani trade during the past trade deadline, but with the Angels going nowhere fast and Ohtani not a guarantee to stay with the team even if the Angels decide to break the bank for him, they might have to go the route of least suffering.

“Just as the return for Ohtani now would be less than it was at the deadline, the return for him as a two- or three-month rental at next year’s deadline would be less than it is now,” Rosenthal wrote. “The Angels’ choices, if they indeed open next season with Ohtani, will amount to a series of poor value propositions. Overpay him to persuade him to stay. Trade him for much less than he is worth. Lose him for draft-pick compensation in free agency.”

Nevertheless, trading a player of Shohei Ohtani’s caliber, an ace on the mound and an elite performer at the plate all in one package, will be tough to stomach. And if the declaration of Angels GM Perry Minasian in recent days is anything to go by, then the Japanese international doesn’t appear to be headed elsewhere.

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Despite the Angels’ string of bad luck, they have as good a foundation as any in Mike Trout and Ohtani, so perhaps the Angels brass can convince themselves that adding a few improvements here and there could elevate the team to a level that makes them befitting of Ohtani’s services.

Hopefully for Angels fans, their players avoid the injury bug in 2023 so they could at least prove to be a worthy foil to the reigning champion Houston Astros and make the most out of Shohei Ohtani’s stint with the franchise.