Insider insight bolsters Yankees’ chances of landing Shohei Ohtani in the Bronx

Shohei Ohtani

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Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ superstar and one of the best in MLB, will become a highly sought-after free agent this offseason. Many teams, including the New York Yankees, are expected to express strong interest in acquiring his services.

However, there is also the possibility of the Angels re-signing him. But Ken Rosenthal of The Athletics strongly feels that Shohei Ohtani won’t go back to Anaheim. He shared this during an interview on the Flippin’ Bats podcast.

Rosenthal expressed doubt about the Angels’ likelihood of signing him. He does not believe there is a chance for it to happen.

If the New York Yankees are indeed planning to make a strong effort to sign Shohei Ohtani when he becomes a free agent, hearing that the Angels might not re-sign him would be welcome news for the Yankees’ management.

The New York Yankees are known for their financial resources and willingness to make bold moves. In the previous offseason, they demonstrated their commitment by signing outfielder Aaron Judge to a lucrative nine-year contract worth $360 million. It has solidified his position as one of the highest-paid players in the game.

Furthermore, the New York Yankees have a significant financial commitment to their roster, with eight players earning salaries of at least eight figures in the current year of 2023. According to Spotrac.com, the New York Yankees seem to have some flexibility for the upcoming year to sign Shohei Ohtani. Despite having six players earning $15 million or more, their projected payroll for 2024 is slightly below $190 million. It’s worth noting that the luxury tax threshold is set at $237 million, providing the Yankees with some room to maneuver and potentially make moves in the offseason.

Naturally, the gap between the Yankees’ payroll and the luxury tax threshold may not be sufficient to entice Shohei Ohtani, as there are predictions that he could potentially become the first player in the game to earn $60 million per year. However, if the Angels are unable to re-sign him, it would eliminate one competitor that the Yankees need to outmaneuver in the pursuit of Shohei Ohtani.

Shohei Ohtani enters Yankee Stadium for warm up before the Angels play the Yankees, June 30, 2021, in New York.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Yankees legend hails Shohei Ohtan

Former New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia had nothing but high praise for Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star Shohei Ohtani during a recent episode of the widely listened podcast, the Pat McAfee Show.

During a recent episode of the popular podcast, the Pat McAfee Show, former New York Yankees pitcher expressed his admiration and spoke highly of Los Angeles Angels two-way star. According to the former Yankee, CC Sabathia, Shohei Ohtani is facing a higher level of competition compared to previous baseball greats like Babe Ruth.

Sabathia expressed his belief that Shohei Ohtani is the greatest player in baseball history. He mentioned that it is important to consider the high caliber of players he is currently competing against.

ESPN puts the Yankees as favorites

Shohei Ohtani’s current contract with the Los Angeles Angels is nearing its end, and he will become a free agent after the season. The 28-year-old agreed to a one-year, $30 million extension before the 2023 season, but it is uncertain whether he will stay with the Angels based on available information.

According to ESPN, baseball executives have stated that the Yankees are likely to show interest in pursuing Shohei Ohtani as a free agent. The top tier of the free agent market has seen significant inflation in the last couple of offseasons, with contracts surpassing initial expectations. As a result, Shohei Ohtani enters the market as the most coveted player.

The New York Mets and San Diego Padres, who have been active spenders, are expected to show interest in Shohei Ohtani. Additionally, the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are also likely to pursue him. While a return to the Angels is not out of the question, their lack of success on the field during his tenure may impact his decision.

Shohei Ohtani’s highly anticipated free agency is expected to attract attention from beyond the typical teams. His exceptional performance on the field and marketability off the field increase his appeal to a wider range of suitors. Specifically, the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs are seen as potential fits for Shohei Ohtani. Factors such as location, market size, and team-building approach contribute to the suitability of these teams for him.

Although it was still early in the evaluation process, a fraction of our panel offered their insights on where they thought Shohei Ohtani might end up. Out of the 26 responses to ESPN, six individuals expressed their thoughts on his potential landing spot. Two insiders mentioned the Dodgers, while one mentioned either the Dodgers or the Mets. Another source suggested either the Dodgers or Yankees, while the fifth mentioned the Dodgers, Padres, or Mariners as possibilities. The final response pointed towards the Giants as a potential destination for Shohei Ohtani.

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