Shohei Ohtani May Not Be Leaving California

Shohei Ohtani
Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez/USA Today Sports

Record Breaking Contract Coming for Shohei Ohtani

If there is one player to have grabbed the most eyes in the past couple of seasons, it’s Shohei Ohtani. The two-way Japanese phenom has done something that we haven’t seen in a hundred years. He has managed to be one of the most dominant players in baseball as both a pitcher and a hitter. It’s predicted that Ohtani will collect the first $500 million contract in league history after the 2023 season. This historically high price tag comes with the luxury of having two MVP caliber players in one person.

Shohei’s first season in the big leagues was in 2018, but it wasn’t until 2021 when we got to witness what he was capable of at his full capacity. Between 2021-2022, Shohei Ohtani hit .265/.364/.554 with 80 home runs and 195 runs batted in. On the mound within the past two years, Shohei has a 24-11 record with a 2.75 ERA and 375 strikeouts over 296.1 IP. He also collected his first MVP trophy in 2021 and came in fourth in Cy Young voting this past season.

If it’s true that Shohei Ohtani will be the first person to sign a $500 million contract in baseball history, there will only be a handful of teams that will be in the running for him. And there is a great chance that the team that signs him is within the same state borders. And we’re not talking about Oakland.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers haven’t done much this offseason besides signing J.D. Martinez and Noah Syndergaard. 2022 brought us one of the most dominant Dodgers teams we’ve ever seen. While leaving October without a ring, the Dodgers are still predicted to be lethal. Even with a lackluster offseason.

It’s safe to say the Dodgers are the favorite to sign Ohtani next winter. Their financial flexibility along with their winning environment is a landing spot that will be very tempting for a player looking to win. Is it possible the Dodgers are holding back on spending this winter to have a biggest push for Ohtani next year? It’s very possible. They are not shy of handing out large contracts to get their guys, and they could be making the ultimate attempt next year. If that’s the case, Shohei Ohtani could be making the trip across town.

San Diego Padres

The Padres have had a very nice offseason after locking up Xander Bogaerts, Matt Carpenter, and Nelson Cruz. After acquiring Juan Soto this past trade deadline, this lineup is possibly the scariest in baseball. Padres owner, Peter Seidler, is making it clear that he is investing in a world championship as soon as possible.

The NL West has belonged to the Dodgers for the better portion of the past decade. While making it further than the Dodgers this past October, the Padres are looking to leapfrog over them within the division in coming years. And it’s more evident than ever with their big spending. Signing a player like Shohei Ohtani could be the move that could make the Padres the big dog of the West.

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants are another team looking to win as soon as possible. While being one of the most winning teams in the early half of the decade, the Giants have seen a slide in the division in recent years.

So far the Giants’ biggest splash this offseason has been Mitch Haniger. They have made it clear they are looking to spend big after missing out on Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa earlier in the winter. It’s safe to presume they will be coming back with a vengeance next year. And this vengeance could very well come in the form of signing the biggest fish in the pond, Shohei Ohtani.

If one thing is for sure, the team that lands Ohtani will be the team to watch for the coming years. The National League West may look extra scary in 2024 if Shohei decides to remain in California.

Follow @Matt__Irish on Twitter for more Baseball News.

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