Ohtani shuns spotlight, cautions suitors to avoid public push

Shohei Ohtani
John Allen
Friday November 17, 2023

Table of Contents

The reason for news outlets failing to report on Shohei Ohtani‘s free agency is the player’s unwillingness to stay in the limelight. Those in pursuit of the premier free agent, including the Mets and potentially the Yankees, have received warnings that leaks may adversely affect their chances of securing the services of the versatile superstar.

Jeff Passan reported that in the event public disclosure occurs regarding visits between Ohtani and a team, it would be viewed negatively against that team. Consequently, the interactions and connections would be limited to very small and exclusive circles. Even disclosing information prematurely could negatively impact the prospects of MLB teams signing Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani remains the foremost free agent in 2023

The two-way star is set to secure the most significant contract in MLB history and potentially across the major four sports this offseason, even if he won’t be able to pitch in the upcoming season.

His outstanding skills as both an ace and a hitter offer a two-way value that hasn’t been seen since the days of Babe Ruth. Although every team wishes to acquire a player of Ohtani’s caliber for both their batting lineup and pitching rotation, the truth is that only a select few teams, typically those from major markets, have the financial capacity to afford him.

Ohtani’s representative, Nez Balelo, is expressing a preference for conducting negotiations in private.

Shohei Ohtani of the Angels is a trade target for the Yankees.

Warning aginst leaks

Passan wrote that when it comes to Ohtani’s free agency, the significant aspect to understand is that there’s a low probability of obtaining much information about it until he eventually signs with a team. Typically, free agency involves leaks and teams may organize events visible to fans outside the stadiums for free agents. However, the gatherings with Ohtani won’t follow the same pattern.

Leaks can occasionally provide insights, informing teams about competitors and influencing their offer strategies. However, Ohtani and Balelo prefer to avoid such disclosures. The Dodgers, according to DraftKings, are the favored contenders to secure Ohtani, with the Giants as strong rivals, putting forth significant efforts to acquire the star their lineup urgently requires.

Los Angeles Dodgers-110
San Francisco Giants550
New York Mets700
Chicago Cubs700
New York Yankees750
Texas Rangers900
Seattle Mariners1000
Boston Red Sox1300
Los Angeles Angels1500
Philadelphia Phillies1800
Toronto Blue Jays2000
San Diego Padres2000
The Field2000
Odds courtesy of DraftKings

The Mets, with the ability to present the most lucrative offer, share the third-best odds at +700 with the Cubs. The Yankees follow closely in fifth place with +750 odds. According to Passan, Ohtani holds a significant level of respect for the Dodgers and also exhibits a favorable inclination toward the Rangers (+900) and Red Sox (+1300).

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