CARLSBAD, Calif. — Angels General Manager Perry Minasian this week has repeatedly declined to discuss whether the team will explore a potential contract extension with two-way star Shohei Ohtani, citing a personal policy about not commenting on contract-related issues.

On Wednesday morning, Ohtani’s agent at CAA sports, Nez Balelo, said the same thing.

Citing his agency’s policy against discussing negotiations, Balelo declined to say whether there have been any extension talks between the Angels and Ohtani, who is set to make $5.5 million in 2022 and will remain under team control through the end of the 2023 season.

“We just don’t talk about deals, we don’t talk about extensions,” Balelo said during the third day of the league’s GM meetings.

Balelo did say that Ohtani is “extremely happy” in Anaheim, where he became an MVP front-runner this year after racking up 46 home runs and 100 RBI as a hitter and a 3.18 ERA with 156 strikeouts in 23 starts as a pitcher.

“He likes being a part of the Angel organization,” Balelo said. “We’ll see where it shakes out.”


In what would have been his first offseason as an arbitration-eligible player last winter, Ohtani and the Angels agreed on a two-year, $8.5 million contract.

That deal made sense for both sides. Ohtani was coming off three consecutive injury-plagued seasons. And there was no precedent for a two-way player going through arbitration hearings.

In the wake of Ohtani’s historic 2021 performance, though, there has been speculation over whether the Angels will try to lock Ohtani up long-term before he becomes a free agent in 2024.

At the end of the regular season, Ohtani didn’t reveal much about his feelings on negotiating a new deal with the Angels.

Before the team’s final game, he said if the club approached him, he’d be open to the idea. But that followed other comments Ohtani made in late September, when he expressed frustration over another Angels season that ended outside of the playoffs, that seemingly raised doubts over his desire to stay with the club long-term.

On Wednesday, Balelo had nothing but good things to say about the Angels and their relationship with his star client.


He praised the way the team and Ohtani worked together this year to keep the 27-year-old healthy during a season in which he appeared in 158 games.

“It was an open communication,” Balelo said, adding: “Joe (Maddon) was wonderful, his staff was great. Perry and his staff were all on the same page. And that made Shohei feel really comfortable.”

Balelo also struck an optimistic tone when talking about the direction the Angels are headed, and how their other potential roster moves could impact Ohtani’s comfort level in Anaheim.

“I was with Perry yesterday and I know one of the things he really set out to do was put together a competitive team,” Balelo said, later noting that “they’re close to being a dynamic team, and there’s just a few things they need to do to help.”

ASTROS: Center fielder Jake Meyers had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury that could delay his 2022 season.

The 25-year-old was hurt on Oct. 12 in Game 4 of the AL Division Series at the Chicago White Sox when he tried to make a leaping catch at the wall on Gavin Sheets’ second-inning home run.


Meyers had hoped to return later in the postseason but did not play again. He was 3 for 8 with two RBI against the White Sox.

Houston said Meyers is not expected to be ready for game competition before Opening Day.

Meyers started the season at Triple-A Sugar Land, made his big league debut on Aug. 1 and hit .260 in 49 games with six homers and 28 RBI.

AWARDS: Chicago’s Liam Hendriks earned his second straight Mariano Rivera Award as the American League Reliever of the Year, and Milwaukee’s Josh Hader won his third Trevor Hoffman Award as the National League Reliever of the Year.

Hendriks had an 8-3 record and 38 saves in 44 chances with a 2.54 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 71 innings during his first season with the White Sox.

Hader was 4-2 with a career-best 1.23 ERA and 34 saves in 35 chances. He also won in 2018 and ’19. He struck out 102 in 58 2/3 innings.


Voting was based on regular-season performance and was conducted among seven former relievers: Rivera, Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner.

YANKEES: Left-hander Joely Rodriguez and the Yankees agreed to a one-year contract, three days after New York declined a $3 million option in favor of a $500,000 buyout.

The 29-year-old Rodriguez was acquired from Texas on July 29 with outfielder Joey Gallo for minor league right-hander Glenn Otto and infielders Ezequiel Duran, Trevor Hauver and Josh Smith. Frequently lined up against opponents’ best left-handed hitters, Rodriguez was 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 21 games with the Yankees.

He finished the season 2-3 with one save and a 4.66 ERA in a career-high 52 relief appearances, holding left-handed batters to a .203 average (12 for 59).

GM MEETINGS: Baseball’s most influential agent said the sport was the victim of a “competitive cancer” caused by teams unloading veterans to accumulate draft picks and said the Atlanta Braves’ World Series title was a direct result of tanking.

In an outdoor news conference in front of a steakhouse at the general managers’ meetings, Scott Boras backed the demands of the players’ association for changes in the collective bargaining agreement that expires Dec. 1. The sport is braced for a lockout that would be baseball’s ninth work stoppage but first since 1995.


“This is the Easter Bunny delivering rotten eggs,” he said Wednesday. “Every team says, `I need to do this because it’s my only option, knowing I can’t reach a divisional crest, I can’t get in the playoffs.'”

Atlanta made a series of July acquisitions and went on to its first World Series title since 1995.

“We have seen the championship in 60 days,” he said. “The rules allow them to be a less-than-.500 team at Aug. 1 and add four players, five players from teams that no longer wanted to compete and for very little cost change the entirety of their team and season.

“And we saw this unfold to the detriment of teams that create at vast expense, planning and intellect and won over 100 games. In doing all this, we have now created an understanding that a fan would not know who the true team is until, frankly, the trading deadline.”

Boras blames the turn toward tanking on restraints imposed on amateur spending in 2012. The caps came as the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros undertook painful rebuilds that resulted in World Series titles, informing decisions by other clubs to tear down. Boras represents many top draft picks and has lost revenue because of the system of draft signing pools.

“It created an incentive for the race to the bottom, because now we have half the major league teams at some time during the season being noncompetitive, trading off their players, making the game and the season very different than what it was intended to be, and that was having an incentive to win every game that you play,” he said.

Boras represents five of the eight men on the union’s executive subcommittee: Zack Britton, Gerrrit Cole, James Paxton, Max Scherzer and Marcus Semien, who switched his agency to Boras last month. Jason Castro, Francisco Lindor and Andrew Miller are the other members.

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