Shohei Ohtani is only in his sixth season in the MLB and already he is considered to be a one-in-a-lifetime player that we will never see again. He is blazing a trail as both an excellent hitter and a skilled pitcher and it only seems like he is continuing to improve. He won gold for Japan in the World Baseball Classic in one of the most dramatic and iconic ways by striking out his teammate and also considered generational talent, Mike Trout to seal the win. It’s hard to tell what a Shohei Ohtani contract would look like, but we’ll get to find out this offseason.
Does Shohei Ohtani have the chance to add one of the most prestigious awards in MLB history to his trophy case? 👀 pic.twitter.com/nmcM2kMFO2— MLB (@MLB) August 8, 2023
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen Ohtani in the playoffs in MLB. He’s spent his entire career playing alongside one of the game’s greatest, and they have yet to put it all together to march to October. This year doesn’t look different as the Los Angeles Angels now with only a 1.4% chance to make the postseason. The Angels aren’t just a Shohei Ohtani contract away, so the question remains if he will continue his career with the Angels, or if he’ll head to a different team in search of a contender.
A Surprise Buying Team
Leading up to the deadline, it looked like the Angels were going to trade him. However, they decided instead to add to their roster and make a push for the postseason. Since then, they’ve floundered with 7 game losing streak that will be hard to claw back from. Ohtani has been visually unimpressed with the team and especially after the preseason flair, it looked like he would be hungrier for success. And if 40 home runs already didn’t make people think that he was hungry then his pitching would also make him a candidate.
It would have made for an interesting trade deadline to see the haul the Angels could have received by dealing Shohei Ohtani to a contender, but it wasn’t meant to be. After a lot of talks behind closed doors, a few weeks before the trade deadline he was off the table for the Angels.
The fact is, Ohtani is going to be a free agent this off-season and when that happens, he will be the hottest player for teams to sign for. Some experts think it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll be with the Dodgers, given that they’ve gone under the luxury tax this year. However, most teams will be in on him and a contract for Ohtani will be an interesting one to see.
Teams in on a Shohei Ohtani Contract
The first element would be any team that is willing to pay for him. His $30 million a year won’t be the number he will be asking for. It will definitely be higher and some teams like the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics probably won’t be willing to pay for that.
The easiest teams to look at are the teams that are always willing to spend and are perennial contenders. The Yankees seem to be a team that wouldn’t sign him with an aging roster that needs to keep the DH role open. The Red Sox have cut costs and don’t seem to be interested in big ticket free agents under Chaim Bloom. Steve Cohen and the Mets are always a wild card, but it’s hard to see him shelling more money out for the Shohei Ohtani contract, when the Mets seem to be a bit away from contending. From there, it’s tough to tell with middle-market teams wanting to make a splash.
Another name that has popped up is the Seattle Mariners. It’s a team that has grown in the past few years and even went into the playoffs last year. It is also the team that had one of the most famous Japanese players on it, Ichiro Suzuki. But the question will be would Ohtani want to go to another team with a future that might not even get into the playoffs?
Again, it’s such a free-for-all that the team that ultimately gets Ohtani is unknown. But a lot can happen between now and when the 2024 season starts. But until then it will be the biggest story throughout the offseason.
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