Will the Angels trade Shohei Ohtani? Could Angels re-sign him?... How to stop tanking in pro sports
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Los Angeles Angels on MLB.com since 2019. This week, he joins us on the Jack Vita Show to discuss the latest news and stories from around Major League Baseball.
Perhaps the best story of the week is the rapid emergence of Angels outfielder Mickey Moniak. In 2016, the Philadelphia Phillies made Moniak the no. 1 overall pick in the MLB Amateur Draft. Moniak made his Major League debut in 2020, appearing in eight games in the COVID-shortened season. He played in 21 games in 2021. Over 29 games between 2020 and 2021, Moniak struggled to find success, slashing just .128/.241/.432 with one home run and three RBI in 55 plate appearances. Moniak spent the majority of the 2022 season in the minors, and at the trade deadline, the Phillies gave up on their former top prospect, sending him to the Angels in a swap for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Moniak impressed in the Cactus League this spring. Had the Angels not signed veteran outfielder Brett Phillips to a Major League deal, Moniak may have cracked the club's Opening Day roster. Moniak was recently called up to the Angels' big league team. Through his first ten games, Moniak is slashing a remarkable .419/.438/1.373 with four home runs and seven RBI. Phillips was recently designated for assignment, and it appears Moniak is here to stay in the big leagues, at least for the time being. Rhett and Jack discuss Moniak's hot start, and Jack shares a Moniak story from spring training.
The Angels are off to a strong 28-23 start. The club hasn't posted a winning season since 2015, and hasn't made a postseason appearance since 2015. Rhett and Jack talk about why this year feels different, though. Is this the Angels' best team since winning the American League West in 2014? They also discuss the impact of manager Phil Nevin, and why he appears to be a better fit to manage this Angels team than Joe Maddon.
Shohei Ohtani is in the final year of his contract with the Angels. Is there a realistic possibility that he could get traded before this summer's trade deadline? Where will Ohtani sign when he hits the open market? Do the Angels have a good chance of keeping the 2021 American League MVP? Rhett weighs in.
Later, Jack shares his idea to stop tanking in professional sports. Plus, what if MLB split its league into two leagues and started using relegation? All this, and much more, in the latest episode of the Jack Vita Show!
Prior to covering the Angels, Rhett was MLB.com's Minnesota Twins beat reporter from 2011 through 2018. He attended USC, and in this episode, he shares his best Will Ferrell story.
You can follow Rhett (@RhettBollinger) on Twitter and check out his work at MLB.com.
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