Major League Baseball free agency is up and running, but the early pause is met with the immense amount of speculation connected to where Shohei Ohtani will sign.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been tabbed as the favorites to land the two-way star, which coincides with the general belief that their organizational plan is to make a strong push to bring him in. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is also rumored to be “obsessed” with Ohtani, while ownership is said to be determined to land him.
The front-runner for the 2023 American League Most Valuable Player, Ohtani should be on the list of every team capable of signing him, and the Dodgers won’t be the only ones in the running, per Jeff Passan of ESPN:
The Dodgers, Rangers and Boston Red Sox all are expected to be in the Ohtani sweepstakes, according to sources.
A recent World Series title for the Texas Rangers, fresh off the heels of inking Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to mega-contracts might not be enough to deter them in adding another. Ohtani is certainly an exception to any cap in spending, especially for executive vice president and general manager Chris Young.
The Boston Red Sox recently tabbed Craig Breslow as their president of baseball operations, and in conjunction with owner John W. Henry, their ability to tap into the Ohtani market makes them a real possibility.
Ohtani played with Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida during the 2023 World Baseball Classic with Team Japan, providing a familiarity factor on the East Coast.
Both teams have deep pockets and could compete with the Dodgers financially, so it may ultimately come down to where Ohtani prefers to play.
Shohei Ohtani could be interested in signing short-term contract
An overwhelming majority of contract predictions have Ohtani cashing in on a minimum 10-year deal with his next organization. But a recent report shed some light on the possibility that he may be open to a short-term agreement with an opt-out clause that would allow him to maximize his value.
Because of his injury, he might receive an offer that isn’t as high as he could if he were able to pitch right away. The value in his ability to pitch puts him in a class of his own, and especially in a tier of his own in terms of negotiations.
A short-term contract would be exactly what Friedman would love, considering he offered Bryce Harper a deal that included a record average annual value, prior to him signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
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