Who Will Sign Shohei Ohtani? Dodgers, Blue Jays Lead Betting Market Odds
MLB’s offseason is just getting going, with a couple of key pieces (Aaron Nola back to the Phillies and Sonny Gray to the Cardinals) making early decisions. The biggest story, however, will involve two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. Every team would love to add Ohtani, but only one will have him in uniform next season. Thanks to Shohei Ohtani odds posted by bet365 in Colorado, we have some early hints on where he might land.
Keep in mind Ohtani enters free agency at a fraught time, with a cloudy outlook on his future pitching usage and effectiveness after needing his second elbow surgery as a major leaguer. He’s targeting a return to pitching in 2025 but is expected to resume his normal hitting workload in 2024.
Still, even as “only” a hitter, Ohtani figures to move the needle significantly. He has accrued almost two-thirds of his career fWAR at the dish. Let’s take a look at the markets and how early Shohei Ohtani rumors reflect his likely landing spots.
Shohei Ohtani Next Team Odds
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*Odds as of December 6, 2023
At this early juncture, the Dodgers and Blue Jays appear to be the leaders in the race. The baseball rumor mill has already connected both teams with Ohtani.
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts let slip that the team had already met with Ohtani, going against the slugger’s reported wishes to keep everything low-key.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported late Monday that the Blue Jays are believed to have also met with Ohtani. Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins has not confirmed this meeting during media interviews.
Aside from the two rumored Ohtani meetings from the presumptive frontrunners, several other teams have consistently been reportedly in the mix. Jon Heyman reported that the Giants and Cubs were the other two finalists. Bob Nightengale, for his part, said the Angels, not the Cubs, are among the finalists.
At this point, it seems likely Ohtani will ultimately land on one of those five teams. The Dodgers probably hold the market lead due to a variety of factors, in addition to the confirmed meeting:
- History of success of Japanese players in L.A.
- Reported mutual interest between both sides dating to Ohtani’s amateur career
- Strong likelihood of World Series contention
- Large enough team budget to pay Ohtani’s likely cost of more than $500 million
Still, the chase looks like it remains open for now. One high-ranking industry source told Heyman that Ohtani’s camp plans to continue meeting with teams after the Winter Meetings. A dark horse could still emerge in Shohei Ohtani’s next team odds.
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