Per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, perhaps the most coveted free agent in MLB history Shohei Ohtani is likely going to sign with a team. 670 The Score’s MLB Insider Jon Heyman added that it is believed that Ohtani has already received offers over $500 million and pondered whether he could be the first man in MLB history to sign a $600 million-plus deal despite the fact that he won’t pitch in the 2024 season.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+100)
Toronto Blue Jays (+300)
Chicago Cubs (+900)
Los Angeles Angels (+1900)
San Francisco Giants (+1900)
The Field (+1900)
Los Angeles Dodgers (+100, 50% Implied)
Not only would Ohtani get to stay put in Los Angeles, but the Dodgers will likely not be outbid in these negotiations. As one of the franchises that is stacked year after year, the deep-pocketed Dodgers are also the favorites to land prized Japanese standout Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who was recently posted. Remember that Ohtani wants to win wherever he ends up since he still hasn’t made his first postseason appearance. Signing with the Dodgers would seemingly check all of the boxes for him within a stable, winning organization that isn’t afraid to spend money to chase titles.
Toronto Blue Jays (+300, 25% Implied)
Not only is Toronto a very diverse internationally-oriented city, but this Blue Jays team is filled with exciting young talent. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and George Springer highlight a solid lineup while Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios highlight a solid pitching staff. This team is arguably one big piece away from a World Series win and Ohtani could be that addition that puts them over the hump. Toronto could be willing to pay huge money for Ohtani’s services since they haven’t won a World Series title since 1992 and have frustrated their fans with early postseason exits in recent years, getting swept from the Wild Card round in three of the last four seasons. The Jays need a left-handed bat and they need a DH, so the fit would be perfect in 2024, even if Ohtani can’t pitch.
Chicago Cubs (+900, 10% Implied)
After making a sizable investment in new manager Craig Counsell ($8 million per year - richest in MLB history) and franchise shortstop Dansby Swanson ($177 million), the Cubs could be one of the teams to emerge in these conversations since they were finalists to sign Ohtani the first time around. The Cubs don’t have the positive outlook that the Dodgers and Blue Jays have, but if Ohtani wants to be “the guy” and potentially even have a say in the other players that the franchise signs, this could be the spot for him. Plus, Chicago has a number of young players in their farm system that should be ready to play at the Major League level in 2024 and 2025.
Los Angeles Angels (+1900, 5% Implied)
Ohtani originally signed with the Angels for many reasons and clearly had a ton of individual success emerging as the face of baseball for the franchise. If the Angels commit $600ish million to Ohtani, the question becomes whether or not the franchise will be able to surround both him and Mike Trout with enough talent to contend. They haven’t been able to do that without Ohtani’s contract on the books, so I highly doubt this will be his landing spot if winning matters to him.
San Francisco Giants (+1900, 5% Implied)
Signing with the Giants would allow Ohtani to play on the West Coast and within an organization rich with success. San Fran’s offense would be completely transformed with Ohtani’s addition and they are consistently one of the best defensive/pitching teams in the game.
Field (+1900, 5% Implied)
Will other teams like the Yankees, Red Sox or Braves swoop in? All the reporting indicates that they have already moved on, but there’s always a chance that a surprise suitor could enter or re-enter the conversation at the last moment!