Ronald Martinez/Getty Pictures
Shohei Ohtani will not pitch through the 2024 season, however he is not about to lack for suitors on the open market.
Bob Nightengale of USA Right this moment reported the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Pink Sox, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers are all set to make an effort to signal the two-way celebrity.
The Dodgers have lengthy been thought-about the favourite, however with near a dozen groups concerned in negotiations, all it takes is one to blow contractual expectations out of the water.
Ohtani’s negotiations took a flip when he underwent season-ending UCL surgical procedure, which is able to stop him from pitching all of subsequent season. It is the second time Ohtani has undergone a UCL restore throughout his profession, and information on gamers who’ve undergone two such surgical procedures is proscribed and not particularly promising.
Any contract Ohtani indicators will probably be based mostly largely on his manufacturing as a hitter, doubtless containing vital incentives based mostly on his pitching eligibility and efficiency. Earlier than the elbow harm, it was thought-about a mortal lock that Ohtani would change into the primary North American athlete to signal a contract price $500 million in assured cash.
It is doable Ohtani reaches that quantity in potential incentives, however he is doubtless taking a look at a base just like Aaron Decide’s nine-year, $360 million deal. Actually not a quantity to sneeze at but in addition not the market-resetting behemoth most have been projecting earlier than the 2023 season started.
Given the variety of groups considering Ohtani’s companies, it is also doable he seeks an early opt-out in his deal as soon as his pitching arm is healed. He might re-enter the market after the 2025 or 2026 season whereas nonetheless in his early 30s, doubtlessly touchdown the $500 million deal at that time.
That stated, odds are Ohtani appears for as a lot safety as doable in his subsequent deal given his personal unsure pitching future.