Are these 3 teams in hottest pursuit of Ohtani?

Are these 3 teams in hottest pursuit of Ohtani?

Shohei Ohtani is now a free agent. is keeping track of the latest news and rumors surrounding the two-way superstar.

Nov. 24: Three teams ‘going big’ for Ohtani?
With the caveat that “we are mostly just reading tea leaves, as information is sparse,” MLB Network insider Jon Heyman wrote in an article for the New York Post that there are three teams who appear to be “going big” for Shohei Ohtani this offseason: the Dodgers, the Giants and the Cubs. He describes the Cubs, in particular, as a “threat,” though “some say Ohtani loves Southern California.”

Heyman then lists “the Padres, Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees and others” in the next tier, describing them as “linked” to the two-way superstar. The Angels, he writes, “are waiting and praying they’ll have a chance to retain arguably baseball’s greatest talent ever.”

Nov. 22: Which team needs Ohtani the most?
A lot of teams want Ohtani. But which team would he help the most in 2024?

To answer that question,’s Mike Petriello broke down the field and ranked 11 possible Ohtani contenders based on how much the two-way superstar would improve each team next season. Petriello’s No. 1? The San Francisco Giants. More >

Nov. 20: What might Ohtani’s deal look like?
Even if fully healthy, Ohtani’s free agency was going to enter unprecedented territory. After all, there’s never been a player like him — as evidenced by Ohtani becoming the first two-time unanimous MVP in AL/NL history last week.

But now toss in the fact that he’s coming off his second major right elbow surgery — he underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2018 and another major elbow surgery in September — and it’s almost impossible to predict what his new deal will look like this offseason. Ohtani’s contract is still likely to set records, but it could take on a unique form given that he’ll be limited to hitting in 2024 — and nobody knows what his pitching future will hold.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) recently took a crack at breaking down some of the options, while also picking the brains of some top executives whose teams may have interest in Ohtani. In a perfect world, Rosenthal says, those teams would love to give Ohtani a record salary by DH standards for next season, coupled with a conditional opt-out based on his health. If Ohtani plays enough and chooses to opt out, perhaps the club could void that move by exercising a built-in guarantee along the lines of what he might be looking for.

Of course, Ohtani and his camp would likely have little to no interest in such a deal. Instead, they’ll be pushing for the most guaranteed money up front as possible — not to mention some potential opt-outs after the second or third year once Ohtani is, hopefully, back to full health.

For anyone who may have lost track by now, Rosenthal offers this simple breakdown: “Start with a $450 million guarantee that would beat Mike Trout’s record. Add $150 million in incentives to push the potential value to $600 million. First team to guarantee the incentives signs Ohtani.”

Of course, it might not be that easy — but it certainly gives a glimpse into what potential suitors will be evaluating in the comins weeks (or months).

Is it too early to write off the Yankees in the Ohtani sweepstakes? Perhaps not.

Writing in the New York Post, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are “extremely interested” in Japanese right-handed pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. However, the Yanks “aren’t as optimistic Ohtani will seriously consider New York based on a comment he’s said to have made to them six years ago while on his tour of teams suggesting he didn’t see himself in such a big city as New York,” Heyman writes.

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