Perry Minasian still sees Angels winning with both Ohtani and Trout

Angels general manager Perry Minasian said he still sees a way for this team to win with both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani signed.

“There’s definitely a formula to winning them and it’s a deeper team,” Minasian said ahead of the team’s series opener against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on Tuesday.

Making trades, giving players free reign, and designing for their future were the three ways he listed to build that depth.

The first day of the Major League Baseball amateur draft is Sunday, the trading deadline this year is August 2, and eligible players will become free agents after the World Series.

“I definitely see a roadmap to put a competitive team on the pitch with these guys,” said Minasian. “They are great players, they have performed really well. I think they deserve all the awards they get every day. I look forward to seeing both of them in the All-Star Game.

“I think they’re two of the best players in baseball and we’re lucky to have them.”

Trout is in his fourth season on a 12-year, $426.5 million contract with the Angels. He left the game mid-game on Tuesday with what the team described as an upper back spasm. Monte Harrison replaced him in midfield in the fifth inning.

Ohtani — the reigning American League’s MVP — is in the final year of a two-year, $8.5 million contract. He is eligible for a final year of salary arbitration and then may become a free agent after the 2023 season.

Minasian said the angels focused on the draft at first, but he knows trade talks will heat up once that’s complete.

When asked about the possibility of selling one of his big players, Minasian reiterated that he would not talk about specific players. He said calls are coming in to any team that has players of Trout’s and Ohtani’s caliber.

“Most of the time, if there are really good players on your team, they’ll call you and ask about it,” Minasian said. “So they’re not hanging up the phone per se, but some players are obviously harder to trade than others.”

As a buyer or seller at the close, Minasian said he didn’t like the words, later adding that “remodeling” was also a strange term for him. He clarified that when certain opportunities make sense, the team generally looks for opportunities to improve, either in the short term or in the long term.

Minasian hasn’t given up this season, with 74 games left after Tuesday, but he knows and feels the frustration across the club at all the losses.

“Obviously it’s not fun to watch,” Minasian said. “We really fought on the plate. I mean, we had a tough month and a half offensively. There are no secrets.”

Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani high-fives center fielder Mike Trout after the team's 5-2 win over the Miami Marlins.

Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, left, high-fives center fielder Mike Trout after the team’s 5-2 win over the Miami Marlins July 6 in Miami.

(Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)

The team’s struggles aside, there’s still the question of how another losing record would affect the team’s chances of getting Ohtani to re-sign a longer contract. Ohtani said last year that winning is “the greatest thing” for him.

Minasian said the defeats not only impacted Ohtani’s desire to stay, but the team as a whole.

The Angels started the season 27-17 and have gone 11-32 (before Tuesday’s game) since their last win in May.

“You always look back at… what could I have done differently? Where did it go wrong? But the responsibility is mine,” Minasian said. “I am responsible for the roster. Our depth isn’t good enough, wasn’t good enough.”

This lack of depth has contributed to injuries to key starters such as third baseman Anthony Rendon (wrist), shortstop/second baseman David Fletcher (hamstrings, abs), and most recently reliever Archie Bradley (elbow) and starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen (shoulder), all the more difficult for the team.

The GM also said that while he believes players can improve, there are some who haven’t reached their full potential despite working hard. He didn’t single out anyone in particular.

VIOLATION UPDATE

Lorenzen, a right-hander, played Catch Tuesday and felt good afterward, according to interim manager Phil Nevin. Lorenzen’s ramp-up process should be quick, and he shouldn’t return too long after the All-Star break.

Fletcher began his rehab stint Tuesday with Triple-A Salt Lake, batting up front and playing second base. He played three innings and went 0-for-2 at the plate.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2022-07-12/angels-astros-gm-perry-minsian-shohei-ohtani-mike-trout Perry Minasian still sees Angels winning with both Ohtani and Trout

Emma Bowman

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