The Major League Baseball (MLB) general managers’ meetings are an important read on the direction of the offseason, and 71% of them had the same idea. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the destination for Shohei Ohtani, 29, who could become the biggest free agent in baseball history.
MLB.com, the official website of MLB, summarized the articles on Ohtani’s future on Nov. 11, pointing to the most recent one, written by John Heyman for the New York Post.
“There is a ‘consensus’ that the Dodgers are the favorite team for the Idoru superstar,” Hayman wrote, offering three reasons why, according to the media outlet. It’s a nod to why the majority of decision-makers at the general managers’ meetings saw Ohtani heading to the Dodgers.
Heyman first pointed to the Dodgers’ payroll flexibility. “The Dodgers’ Opening Day payroll was about $223 million in 2023 ($281 million in 2002), but they stuck to one-year and minor league deals last offseason and now have a payroll of only about $128 million,” Heyman said.
ESPN on Tuesday ranked Ohtani No. 1 overall in its projected contract sizes for this year’s free agents. It predicted that he would sign the largest contract in history, worth 10 years and $502 million (686.6 billion won).
The Dodgers have been focusing on becoming more financially efficient, such as by signing Clayton Kershaw to a one-year deal. While some might argue that the prospect of signing Ohtani to such a massive contract is a step in the wrong direction, Heyman sees it as a boost to the team’s chances of landing Ohtani. 보스토토
“The Dodgers’ financial situation leaves them with room to sign Ohtani and address other needs, such as their rotation,” he explained.
Another is that the Dodgers continue to be a perennial contender. Heyman pointed out that Ohtani has never made it to fall ball in his MLB career. He emphasized that the Dodgers have won 10 Division Series titles, three World Series appearances, and one pennant in the last 11 years. “If Ohtani wants to win, it would be hard to find a better environment than the Dodgers,” the outlet explained.
Indeed, Ohtani has made no secret of his dreams of winning a championship and playing fall ball. This is one of the big reasons why experts believe he will leave the Angels.
Finally, there’s geography. It’s no secret that Ohtani, who has only worn an Angels uniform since coming to the United States, prefers to stay in the Southern California area. Not many teams can say the same. The Angels are joined by the Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners.