With numerous teams vying for Shohei Ohtani’s services, the Japanese superstar’s future remains uncertain as we await his decision for the 2024 season.
However, that doesn’t mean the rumor mill won’t churn out speculations and predictions until a new deal is finalized.
Here’s the latest on Shohei Ohtani’s free agency:
San Francisco Giants: The Obvious Destination?
According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants have made Ohtani their top priority this winter.
An agent, who spoke with Shea during the General Manager Meeting, mentioned that the Giants are an “obvious destination” for Ohtani. Another manager also highlighted San Francisco’s advantageous geographic location on the West Coast.
Seattle Mariners: A Different Approach
Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners’ general manager, arrived at the General Managers’ Meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a new strategy for Ohtani’s second free agency. Unlike in 2017, Dipoto stated that the team will conduct their business discreetly and refrain from discussing free agents publicly.
Los Angeles Angels: Uncertain Future
After six seasons with the Angels, Shohei Ohtani has established himself as one of baseball’s biggest superstars. However, his tenure with the team may be coming to an end as he enters free agency. Numerous teams are expected to compete for his services, with a lucrative contract being the primary requirement for his signature. It’s worth noting that the Angels were unexpected victors in the Ohtani sweepstakes during the 2017-2018 offseason.
November 10: A Summary of the Latest Rumors
- In a survey conducted by 58 MLB.com writers, the Los Angeles Dodgers emerged as the clear favorites to sign Ohtani, with the Giants finishing in a distant second place.
- MLB Trade Rumors’ annual contract predictions also foresee Ohtani joining the Dodgers, with all three writers predicting a record-breaking 12-year, $528 million deal.
- On FoxSports.com, three out of four writers also predicted Ohtani’s arrival in Los Angeles, while one leaned towards the Giants.
- Jim Bowden of The Athletic believes Ohtani will sign with the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers, with the Dodgers and Mariners closely behind in the bidding.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the “vast majority” of baseball managers envision Ohtani joining the Dodgers. While other teams like the Cubs, Giants, Red Sox, and Mets have been mentioned, the Dodgers remain the clear favorites.
ESPN’s Buster Olney echoes this sentiment, reporting that Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations for the Dodgers, is “obsessed” with Ohtani and will spare no effort to secure the Japanese superstar.
Shohei Ohtani: The Center of Attention
Since the start of free agency, Shohei Ohtani has dominated discussions at the General Manager Meetings. The Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Angels, Mariners, Rangers, and Cubs are the main contenders vying for his services this winter.
The Dodgers’ Pursuit of Ohtani
Speculations surrounding the Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani have persisted for almost a year. Last winter, when the team allowed notable players to leave via free agency, rumors swirled about their intentions to pursue Ohtani.
During the MLB General Managers’ Meetings, Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes touched on the topic, albeit cautiously due to the secrecy surrounding negotiations.
Ohtani’s Future with the Angels
Although Ohtani is now a free agent, his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, have not been ruled out as a potential destination. Perry Minasian, the Angels’ general manager, addressed the topic during the meetings.
The Dodgers’ Determination
Many insiders believe that the Dodgers are willing to go all out to secure Shohei Ohtani’s signature. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations, is “obsessed” with Ohtani and will do whatever it takes to bring him to Los Angeles.