While all 30 MLB clubs are keen to sign Shohei Ohtani, one team has proclaimed a more-obsessive interest than the rest.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, one person he has spoken to within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization said that Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, is "obsessed" with Ohtani and will put his Dodgers in position to land him.
Friedman's L.A. team seems like a likely destination for Ohtani — who has also garnered interest from the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox and many other teams — if only because he is already located in Los Angeles and is known to love living in Southern California.
In addition to Ohtani's affinity for Southern California, there are a few other reasons why the Dodgers seems like an increasingly likely destination for him in 2024 and beyond. As ESPN MLB expert Bradford Doolittle said, "the Dodgers are the perfect fit for Ohtani, with their history of working with starting pitchers, the availability that they have at the designated hitter slot and the fact they always win — not to mention the continued visibility for Ohtani in the L.A. market. In terms of money, there isn't an offer that the Dodgers can't match."
That last sentence is perhaps the most important of all. Given that, despite him not being able to pitch until 2025 because of right elbow surgery, Ohtani will still likely sign a deal this offseason that makes him the first $500 million player in North American professional sports history.
Imagining Ohtani's inclusion to a lineup that already features Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and James Outman (among others) is a scary prospect to consider for fans of other NL West teams — well, fans of any team that isn't the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Despite the Japanese megastar being older than most MLB players who've received gigantic contracts in recent years (Ohtani is currently 29 and will turn 30 in July), there's no reason to believe that he doesn't have at least six to eight more years of world-class baseball ahead of him.
Regardless of where Ohtani signs this winter, the guaranteed drama leading up to his decision could make for a blockbuster movie — and if he does end up staying in Los Angeles, perhaps we'll soon see Ohtani starring in Hollywood blockbusters.
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