Dodgers and Yankees in talks for trade to clear roster spot for Ohtani, report says

Shohei Ohtani

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The Winter Meetings in Nashville didn’t witness any major moves from the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the weekend delivered significant news as Shohei Ohtani revealed his intention to sign a monumental 10-year, $700 million contract with the team. The fact that the Japanese had been linked to a move to the New York Yankees during this offseason disappointed many Yankees fans.

Ohtani’s pending commitment

Shohei Ohtani playing time down stretch.

While Ohtani’s commitment to the Dodgers appears imminent, the formalization of the deal is pending. This delay is attributed to Ohtani’s requirement to undergo a physical examination, coupled with the team’s necessity to create space on their 40-man roster. This administrative hurdle extends to Joe Kelly, who had previously agreed to a one-year contract for the 2024 season earlier in the month.

In order to accommodate the signings of both Kelly and Ohtani, the Dodgers are reportedly on the brink of finalizing a trade with the New York Yankees, as disclosed by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal, however, is still in the process of being officially confirmed.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees are anticipated to acquire a pitcher and a prospect from the Dodgers in this potential trade.

What’s going to happen?

The congestion on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster can be traced back to decisions involving their arbitration-eligible players and the protection of Nick Frasso, Landon Knack, and Hunter Feduccia from the risk of being selected in this year’s Rule 5 Draft.

Jason Heyward’s recent re-signing marked the latest transaction completed by the Dodgers, ultimately bringing their 40-man roster to full capacity.

As the Dodgers aim to create space on their crowded roster, several players are speculated to be potential trade candidates. Victor González, with the surplus of bullpen depth, stands out as a likely contender to be traded to the Yankees. Additionally, Bryan Hudson and Gus Varland are mentioned as plausible trade chips in the Dodgers’ efforts to free up roster space.

On the position player front, Jonny DeLuca emerges as a noteworthy option for the Yankees, addressing their need for a defensive upgrade in the outfield, particularly in light of their recent trade for Juan Soto.

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