Who do you think is the frontrunner to acquire Shohei Ohtani in free agency?
The buzz surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s potential destination has been inescapable, with baseball enthusiasts and pundits speculating on where he might land.
Despite Ohtani’s upcoming pitching hiatus until 2025 due to elbow surgery, he remains a hot commodity as a hitter, following an outstanding offensive season in 2023, arguably one of the best in the majors.
His injury hasn’t deterred teams from pursuing him, given his potential to transform a franchise as a two-way player and cornerstone. While the Los Angeles Angels are determined to retain Ohtani, several other teams are eager to woo him, offering substantial contracts of over $500 million to secure the services of this versatile star.
DraftKings recently released the odds for Ohtani’s next team, with the Los Angeles Dodgers emerging as the frontrunners (-110). They are followed by the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and New York Mets.
Oddsmakers appear to believe that the Angels face an uphill battle in bringing Ohtani back, while they give the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and Toronto Blue Jays an outside chance of securing the 29-year-old player.
Shohei Ohtani’s impending free agency is poised to be one of the most captivating not only in baseball history but also in the annals of sports. The organization that signs him stands to gain substantial benefits, including increased merchandise sales, higher attendance, enhanced ratings, and support from his native Japan.
Despite playing in only 135 games before his season was cut short, Ohtani still boasted impressive statistics, hitting .304 with a league-leading 44 home runs and an MLB-best OPS of 1.066. He led the American League with a .412 on-base percentage and topped the majors with a .654 slugging percentage.
While the acquisition cost for Ohtani will be substantial, the investment is expected to yield significant returns, provided he maintains good health.