As the League Championship Series, which determines which teams will advance to the World Series in both leagues, is nearing its conclusion, news related to Shohei Ohtani’s free agency is still pouring in.
Ohtani is expected to attract the attention of baseball fans around the world as the biggest topic of this offseason once the World Series ends. The team that is prioritizing signing Ohtani is none other than the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have never mentioned Ohtani, but the media is currently projecting him as a likely destination after last winter.
This time, it was reported that the Dodgers’ ‘number one’ target in the free agent market was Ohtani.
Bob Nightingale of USA Today, a leading American sports reporter, said on the 24th (Korean time), ‘The LA Dodgers, whose No. 1 target this winter is Shohei Ohtani, can no longer accept just winning the National League (NL) West Division. “They are saying there is none,” he said. “Despite winning 211 games over the past two years, they only achieved one win in October baseball, and were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks this season.”
The Dodgers had the most wins in the club’s history with 111 wins in the regular season last year, but lost 1 win and 3 losses to the San Diego Padres in the Division Series (DS). This year, they also achieved 100 wins, but were eliminated after losing three games in a row to Arizona. This means that the Dodgers, who are considered the strongest team in the NL West, are recruiting Ohtani to show off a strong force not only in the regular season but also in the postseason.
Dodgers President Andrew Friedman pointed out in a recent interview with Nightingale reporter, “Despite being a talented team, we have never led in 27 innings (a total of three games). This is a problem that must be resolved.”
The Dodgers recorded a team batting average of 0.177 (17 hits in 96 at-bats), 1 home run, 6 RBI, and 6 runs during the 3 DS games against Arizona. Mookie Betts, the team’s star, had no hits in 11 at-bats, and Freddie Freeman had just 1 hit in 10 at-bats. Considering that two players cannot guarantee multiple scores in short-term games such as the postseason, it is judged that a hitter with more power should join the main batting order.토토사이트
There are only two hitters who can play that role in this free agency market: Shohei Ohtani and Cody Bellinger. It is possible to bring back Bellinger, who was kicked out as useless, but Ohtani must be considered the Dodgers’ priority.
In relation to this, Sports Illustrated (SI) said on this day, ‘Ohtani’s relationship with the Dodgers goes back to 2017 when he joined the Angels. “If there had been a designated hitter in the NL at the time, Ohtani would have signed with the Dodgers,” he said. “After that, the Dodgers waited until Ohtani became a free agent to monitor and find out his marketability.” “Now is the time.”
SI continued, saying, “All teams will want Ohtani, but the Dodgers have their own strengths,” adding, “They have a history of good relationships with Asian pitchers, such as Hideo Nomo, Kenta Maeda, Hiroki Kuroda, and Hyun-jin Ryu. , LA is geographically close to Japan, making it easy for Japanese fans to come, and above all, the Dodgers have ample financial liquidity to sign Ohtani.’
Another media outlet, Bleacher Report, also said on this day, ‘Ohtani can stand on the mound again in 2025, so the Dodgers can secure a reliable ace in the starting rotation,’ and ‘The Dodgers will not spend money on starting pitchers this offseason and will sign a contract with Ohtani. It is unclear whether he will be able to overcome the crisis by going all-in, but it seems clear that this is the best team to take him.’ At the same time, the media predicted that an ‘8-year contract’ was likely.
With all local media outlets pointing to the Dodgers, there is no mention that Ohtani, who is currently staying in Japan, can remain with his original team, the LA Angels. The Angels have not played fall baseball for nine consecutive years since 2015 until this year.