The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is in full swing. With Ohtani — the MLB's two-way Japanese megastar — set to become an unrestricted free agent once the 2023 World Series finishes, rumors are already swirling about what jersey Ohtani might be wearing come 2024 Opening Day. Recently, one historic franchise has emerged as a major player to acquire him.
According to the New York Post, one MLB executive said that he believes the Boston Red Sox, "are a real threat" to sign Ohtani in the offseason.
There are multiple reasons why Boston makes sense as a landing spot for Ohtani. For one, Ohtani signed a long-term deal with New Balance earlier this year, that's reported to be worth as least $5 million — and New Balance is based out of Boston. With the sports apparel company looking to leverage Ohtani's popularity to promote their apparel section, having him nearby would be hugely helpful.
Plus, the Red Sox are one of just a handful of MLB franchises who actually have enough money to sign Ohtani — who is looking for a contract of around 10 years long that might command up to $76 million per year. Because Boston lost their last superstar, Mookie Betts, to the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2020 — and they they've produced three last-place finishes in the AL East over the last four years — the legendary franchise is surely eager to return to their winning ways. Signing a megastar like Ohtani would be the perfect way to kickstart that success.
Finally, Ohtani is something of a Red Sox fan himself; or at least a fan of Fenway Park, where the Red Sox play. When Ohtani was asked by NESN back in April how he felt about playing at Fenway Park, he responded with, "It's one of my favorite parks. I always look forward to pitching here but I like the conditions that allow me to have fun fully. But other than that I always look forward to pitching here."
That must be music to the ears of Red Sox fans.
Of course, just because Ohtani said he likes playing at Fenway Park doesn't mean that he's sure to sign with Boston. A lot can still happen between now and the time that Ohtani chooses his next team. Yet, Red Sox fans are right to feel excited that their club is considered a frontrunner to land him.
Regardless of where he ultimately decides to sign, keeping up with the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is sure to be the most captivating part of MLB's upcoming offseason.
Buckle up, baseball fans.
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