Shohei Ohtani’s Future: Predicting Where Ohtani Could Land After An LA Departure
When the MLB Trade Deadline was approaching, rumors started to swirl of a certain LA Angel being put up on the trade block. I’ll give you a hint as to who it was:
-He’s a pitcher
-He’s also a batter
Was I too obvious? Or did the headline give it away? Either way, you know now. Ohtani’s name was being thrown out more than plastic straws were thrown out into the ocean (save the turtles). However, as the story would go, Ohtani was going nowhere. Yet as Ohtani’s contract slowly ticks towards expiration, we can’t help but wonder: where COULD Ohtani play, if not for LA?
Ohtani was been with the Angels since 2018, and his current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2023 season. The two-way player has been nothing short of spectacular, hitting 121 home runs in 533 games played for the Angels, all the while hoisting a career 3.18 ERA with a 24-13 record (over 57 games started). Ohtani was the 2021 MVP and the 2018 rookie of the year, and the 28-year-old seems to only be getting started.
However, if he ever wants any accolades that surpass the personal level (like, per say, a World Series ring) it may be wise for Ohtani to leave LA–well, at least Anaheim. Since Ohtani joined the Angels in 2018, they have a combined record of 206-291 and have finished fourth in the AL West every year. The Angels have had the two best talents in baseball over the last decade (Trout and Ohtani) and have done NOTHING with them–so maybe it’s time for the band to split up.
This isn’t me blaming Ohtani for the Angels' ineptitude–quite the opposite, actually. It would be dumb of me to do so–the man is currently the second-most-favorite to win the 2022 AL MVP according to BetMGM Sportsbook, sitting at +500 behind Aaron Judge. But what I AM saying is that if Ohtani REALLY wants to shine, then it might be best for him to get a move on. Let’s take a look at his most realistic landing spots.
The Los Angeles Dodgers
This would honestly be awful for the sport of baseball. The Dodgers would take another step towards becoming the super team of super teams, and they would become the perennial World Series favorite, for as long as Ohtani is in town. But, if we’re being realistic, this is the most probable landing spot for the Show-train (still workshopping that). He barely has to move, he’s still close to his real home (Japan) and we know the Dodgers have the money. It’s boring, and it makes me want to puke, but it’s the most reasonable.
The Seattle Mariners
This one is a bit out of leftfield but hear me out–it’s a West Coast team (close to Japan) that is in the process of building around a potential phenom outfielder, Julio Rodriguez. The Mariners are also a more lowkey organization than the Dodgers, so Ohtani might find himself enjoying life a little out of the spotlight. Keep an eye on Seattle.
The New York Mets
I know, this breaks my West Coast trend–but when it comes to signing players, how can I doubt the money man himself: Steve Cohen. Cohen has done wonders for this Mets team since he became the owner, so I wouldn't be surprised if he’s all over this potential Ohtani signing (or trade) already.
The New York Yankees
Nothing would scream “The Evil Empire Is Back” like the Yankees going out and getting Shohei Ohtani. They’ll have the money (especially if Judge doesn’t resign) and it would be an all-time acquisition if they were able to pull it off. IF the Yankees can manage to keep Judge AND get Ohtani, then look out MLB.