One of the biggest questions in Major League Baseball right now is where Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) will end up. The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly the frontrunners to sign him.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, reported on Thursday that the Los Angeles Dodgers are the frontrunners to sign Ohtani and have wanted him for more than a decade.
According to the report, the Dodgers pursued a deal in 2012, when Ohtani was a senior in high school. However, at the time, major league clubs only saw him as a pitcher.
Instead, Ohtani signed with the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, where he batted and hit, and that’s how he made his way to the majors.
메이저놀이터It was a wise move. If Ohtani had jumped into the major leagues after finishing high school, it would have been difficult for him to do so.
The Los Angeles Dodgers tried to sign him again five years later, but there was a catch. Ohtani wanted a designated hitter for the two-hitter.
At the time, the National League, of which the Dodgers were a part, did not have a designated hitter system. That’s why Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
The National League now has a designated hitter system. It”s safe to say that all the obstacles to the LA Dodgers signing Ohtani are gone.
The Dodgers also have at least $67 million in payroll to cut after this season. This could be seen as a way of preparing for the signing of Ohtani.
Ohtani is likely to sign with a team on the West Coast of the United States, a perennial postseason contender. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team that fits that bill.
In fact, in a recent survey of active major league players, the Dodgers were the favourite to land Ohtani.
It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers, who have wanted Ohtani since he was in high school, can make him their opening day starter for the 2024 season.
If the above becomes a reality, Ohtani will start the new season in Seoul on 21 March 2024.