The waiting game with Shohei Ohtani and his free agent tour have progressed through the heart of this year’s Major League Baseball Winter Meetings, seeming to have a large impact on the rest of the market.
Because Ohtani has a price tag attached that will raise eyebrows, so will the demand on other sought after names. Blake Snell and Yoshinobu Yamamoto have yet to sign, mainly because teams in on the two-way star could also opt to pursue them.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, and San Francisco Giants are among teams with the most interest.
With a decision not expected to be made until the end of this week, Ohtani reportedly has been mulling his next destination since some point last season, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post:
Though it isn’t known yet who leads among those three finalists, plus the Cubs and Angels, a clubhouse source told The Post Ohtani told him during the season that he liked the idea of going to at least the Dodgers or Jays if he left the Angels.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed that the team had met with Ohtani at Dodger Stadium last week, and it’s also believed that he also met with the Blue Jays and Giants.
Some projections for Ohtani’s deal have him in the $600 million range, with the Dodgers still tabbed as the favorites. If he does opt to return to the Angels, some believe he could go for a short term deal with a record average annual value attached.
Negotiations for Shohei Ohtani could be decided by this week; what it means for the Angels
A huge hurdle for the Angels is the fate of their competitive aspirations if Ohtani chooses to sign with another team.
Given they still have Mike Trout patrolling centerfield, the pair of he and Ohtani, when healthy, create one of the most dynamic duos in MLB. The flip side of the Angels’ current situation is the unfortunate road if Trout is without his running mate from years past.
Ohtani reportedly could decide on his next destination by this week, which would open the door for the rest of the free agent market.
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