The most important fish within the MLB free-agency pond has every big-market team digging deep into their tackle box for shiny bait.
Whoever lands Shohei Ohtani is predicted to ink the double-threat sensation to historic contract term and value.
Since last winter, the excitement has been that Ohtani is more likely to remain on the West Coast.
Provided that the two-time AL MVP has never sniffed the playoffs in his tenure with the Angels, one other priority is legitimate contention.
The one team that lives in the middle of that Venn diagram is the Dodgers, which is why they’ve been market favorites because the starting of speculation.
Despite just one World Series title previously decade, the Dodgers have been perennial contenders with 11 straight trips to the postseason — 10 by winning the NL West.
Adding Ohtani to the combo would immediately boost them to 2024 World Series favorites.
The Dodgers have cleared the payroll space and it could be one heck of a turnaround if Ohtani finally ends up elsewhere. At +110 at DraftKings/Illinois, the Dodgers are listed at fair value, but Ohtani isn’t just in search of whoever’s willing to pony up probably the most money. The priority is proving he’s one of the best.
If he can win while doing so, geography and money moves to the back burner.
After undergoing elbow surgery in September, Ohtani won’t pitch in 2024. Not that it makes any difference to how these teams will approach him, but for the needs of his immediate fit, he shall be seeking to slide right into a lineup for an auspicious season on the plate.
Learn all that you must learn about MLB Betting
If you happen to’re looking for a dark-horse candidate, the reigning champion Rangers check in at +900 odds. They’re reported to be all-in this offseason and have a vacant designated hitter spot awaiting Ohtani.
He would remain within the AL West and put them on the fast track toward defending their title.
THE PLAY: Rangers to sign Shohei Ohtani (+900)