Recent reports suggest that the San Francisco Giants are set to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in pursuit of MLB star Shohei Ohtani, with the likes of the Los Angeles Angels, the Chicago Cubs, the Seattle Mariners, and the Boston Red Sox among a slew of other teams vying for the 29-year-old’s signature
Ohtani, who has been named American League MVP for the second time in three years, is an incredible player and one who would greatly improve any ballpark he ends up moving to, and no doubt when a deal is done, that team in question will see their odds of completing a World Series triumph become a whole lot more enticing.
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The discussions about where Ohtani will pitch up is not just the subject of office water cooler talk, but by all accounts, it’s something that is endlessly discussed at the MLB General Manager meetings, which recently took place at the Omni Scottsdale Resort.
This was touched upon by Tampa Bay Rays president of baseball operations, Erik Neander, who commented on the ongoing rumors of where the huge talent could end up by stating,
“We all involve ourselves and our profession around this game, because we love it. We love talent. We love stories. And certainly, he’s as fascinating a talent as we’ve all seen in our generation.
“Across the game, this is as anticipated a decision as we’ve had in our sport. This is certainly as captivating one to many, even for people that aren’t baseball fans.”
“I think it’s great for our game.” Neander added.
Such is the quality of the two-way star that even the fact that recent elbow surgery means he likely won’t pitch again until 2025 hasn’t lessened the interest in acquiring his services. The surgery he underwent in September is said to have been a success, and comments from orthopedist Neal ElAttrache should comfort those potential suitors.
“The ultimate plan after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow.
“I expect full recovery and he’ll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both (hit and pitch) come 2025.”
The deal that Ohtani does ultimately sign, will likely see the player receive the largest contract in the history of baseball. It’s likely to go above and beyond the $430 million that Mike Trout received, and the size of the deal in question may well lead to the number of the teams looking to sign the star decreasing as the bidding war gets closer to completion.