Shohei Ohtani

Angels star Shohei Ohtani reveals what's important to him as free agency looms

Unless traded, Ohtani will miss the playoffs in each of his first six MLB seasons.

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Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani is the overwhelming favorite to be the American League MVP winner for the second time in the last three years, and he might finish the season on a new team.

The MLB trade deadline is scheduled for Aug. 1, and if the Angels don't think Ohtani will re-sign with them in free agency, they should move him and not risk the possibility that he leaves for nothing over the winter.

What's most important to Ohtani as his contract winds down? What is he looking for? How much does winning factor into it all? He was asked that last question Monday during All-Star Game media availability in Seattle.

"Those feelings get stronger year by year," Ohtani said through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. "It sucks to lose. He wants to win, so it gets stronger every year."

The Angels are on track to miss the playoffs in all six of Ohtani's seasons in Los Angeles. The last time the franchise reached the postseason was 2014. If winning is really Ohtani's preference, he's not going to enjoy a ton of success with the Angels.

Unfortunately for the Boston Red Sox, they also aren't in a good position to offer Ohtani a chance to consistently win. Ohtani would be a massive addition to the Red Sox with his ability to both hit and pitch at an elite level. Boston is desperate for another ace in the rotation, and the idea of Ohtani and Devers in the middle of the lineup for many years is an exciting one.

But the Red Sox are on pace to finish last in the American League East for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Ownership also has let many talented players -- Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, etc. -- leave the franchise via trade or free agency in recent years instead of paying them to stay.

However, the Red Sox do have a great history, they have a great manager in Alex Cora, the fanbase is among the best in the sport, and they do have a Japanese star in Masataka Yoshida who has played with Ohtani on Team Japan several times during international tournaments.

The Red Sox shouldn't be completely ruled out as a possible landing spot for Ohtani, but if he does prioritize winning over everything else, there are better options than Boston for him to pursue in free agency.

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