The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly close to signing Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels).
American media outlet NBC LA published an article titled “Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani are a match made in heaven” on June 26. In other words, the Dodgers are bound to succeed in signing Ohtani in free agency after this season.온라인바카라
“The Dodgers’ desire for superstar Ohtani is no secret, and the two will inevitably be linked at the trade deadline and in the upcoming free agency market,” wrote Michael Duarte.
“The Dodgers and Ohtani are like two people who stare at each other unwaveringly from across a cubicle,” the writer continued, “They watch with envy as the other dances with someone else, but the furtive glances from across the floor reveal the true feelings of both.
“The Dodgers’ delicate courtship dance has been going on for more than a decade, ever since Ohtani tried to scout Higashi Hanamaki when he was an 18-year-old senior at Hanamaki High School.
As Duarte notes, the Dodgers were looking at Ohtani when he was a senior in high school, when he took Japan by storm with a fastball that hit around 100 mph. The reporter said, “If Ohtani had given up the opportunity to pitch at the time, he might have signed with the Dodgers. Instead, he joined the Nippon Ham Fighters and showed the world his worth as a pitcher and hitter.
The Dodgers were among the seven finalists when Ohtani contacted major league clubs through the posting system in December 2017.
Commenting on the situation, Ohtani told NBC LA, “I’m grateful to the Dodgers and all the other teams that tried to sign me when I first got here, but what I throw and what I hit, that doesn’t change no matter who the opponent is. I have to do what I have to do, regardless of the opponent.” In other words, he chose an organization that would actively support his two-hitting career.
Six years have passed since then. Ohtani was unanimously voted AL MVP in 2021, cementing his status as the best player in baseball. This season, Ohtani’s performance has been nothing short of spectacular. As of today, he leads the league in home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, and OPS, and is first in ERA among pitchers.
This year’s non-waiver trade deadline is August 2. However, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that the Angels will trade Ohtani. That’s because they’re still in the hunt for a playoff spot. As Angels owner Art Moreno told Sports Illustrated in March, “I’m going to say it for the record. We’re not going to trade Ohtani if we’re in playoff contention,” and general manager Perry Minasian recently reaffirmed that to local media.
As a result, the battle for Ohtani will be fought in free agency later this year.
As for why Ohtani would sign with the Dodgers, Duarte explained that “Ohtani wants to win and doesn’t like cold cities”.
“The Dodgers have a stronger offense, more All-Stars, more superstars, a better pitching staff, a better bullpen, and more depth (compared to other teams),” he said. “More importantly, the Dodgers have more money to give him in the offseason. There will be a $500 million to $600 million contract war for Ohtani.
Not only local media outlets, but major league players also believe Ohtani will sign with the Dodgers. When The Athletic polled 100 active big leaguers about where they think Ohtani will play in 2024, 57.2 percent picked the Dodgers.
“On paper, the Dodgers and Ohtani are a match made in heaven,” Duarte concluded, “but it remains to be seen if Ohtani feels the same way.
In response to reports that he is likely to sign with the Dodgers, Ohtani recently said, “I want to focus on the season, and that’s entirely up to my agent. For me personally, I really want to focus on the season.”