Although there’s a chance he remains in Anaheim, there are a plethora of teams that are vying for the services of one of the best players in baseball, and according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Chicago Cubs could be a sleeper.
“The sleeper in the Ohtani free-agent frenzy, several baseball executives predict, are the Chicago Cubs,” wrote Nightengale on Sunday. “They were the only team outside the AL West and NL West that were on Ohtani’s original list when he left Japan six years ago, and certainly, they have plenty of money stored up to pay Ohtani whatever he desires.”
A Shohei Ohtani-Chicago Cubs megadeal would certainly make sense, both because of his original interest and their ability to give him maybe the most lucrative contract in baseball history.
“That’s the team no one talks about,” an AL executive told Nightengale. “I’m telling you, that’s the team to watch out for. I could easily see him going there. We’ll see what happens, but that’s my call.”
Nightengale also sees the New York Mets, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies as potential options if Ohtani decides to head East.
But if he wants to remain in California, the Los Angeles Dodgers make a lot of sense and are reportedly saving money to sign him as a free agent. The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants could also be options; Giants president Larry Baer had fans chanting Ohtani’s name before their home opener in 2023.
Another option is the Seattle Mariners, as Ohtani is a big fan of Ichiro Suzuki, a Mariners legend.
Clearly, there is no frontrunner in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, and also no shortage of teams who are willing to spend a fortune on one of the most unique players in baseball history in MLB Free Agency.
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