The MLB hot stove is picking up steam.
The annual general manager meetings are behind us, and the winter meetings are on the horizon. Offseason activities are already underway, and the anticipation is building for significant developments in the coming weeks.
This presents an opportune moment to gather the latest free agency rumors from the grapevine and speculate on their implications for some of the premier players in the market.
Shohei Ohtani‘s journey into free agency has taken an intriguing turn.
While there were speculations about the possibility of the two-way star securing a deal surpassing $500 million, recent reports suggest that may not be the case, at least in terms of the total contract value.
According to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez, “people familiar with Ohtani’s thinking believe he might be open to a short-term deal with an exceedingly high average annual value.” Gonzalez pointed out that Ohtani’s willingness to consider a shorter contract could “attract a plethora of potential suitors this offseason.”
Recognizing that not all teams can commit to a half-billion-dollar deal for a single player, even one of Ohtani’s caliber, many could muster the funds required to offer a shorter deal with a record-breaking annual salary, potentially exceeding the current high of $43.3 million. With elbow surgery ruling out pitching for the upcoming season, a short-term contract might serve Ohtani well in re-establishing his full value before pursuing a substantial, long-term contract in the future.
However, if a deep-pocketed team is ready to present a significant, historically expensive contract now, Ohtani would likely seize the opportunity.
In the pursuit of a talent like Ohtani, the inclination is to secure a long-term commitment if possible.