Shohei Ohtani is baseball’s greatest superstar of our century. Ohtani is very likely going to want to join a bona fide title contender in the 2023 offseason with realistic hopes of winning a World Series title in 2024 despite an injury setback that derailed his 2023 season. Unfortunately, not everyone will be in the running for the Ohtani sweepstakes. Here are 10 MLB Teams who are just pretenders in the bid to sign Shohei Ohtani:
San Francisco Giants:
The San Francisco Giants were a perennial NL West powerhouse dynasty in the 2010s by winning three World Series Championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014 respectively. However, the Giants have not had serious postseason success with failed playoff runs in 2016 and 2021. The Giant’s current roster just isn’t up to par with the rising competition between the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Yes, Ohtani would drastically improve the Giant’s on-field culture while making the Giants look like a playoff team. The Giants are no title contender, any longer. Currently, their best years are in the rear-view mirror. They will not be a great fit for Ohtani- who wants to win now! Additionally, the Giants fired manager Gabe Kapler and are still looking to rebuild moving forward.
The Miami Marlins had a very surprising 2023 postseason run to the Wildcard round before getting knocked out by the Philadelphia Phillies. Ohtani would help the Marlins overcome their playoff hump and potentially get them back to the World Series for the first time since 2003, but the Marlins don’t have the bank to lure Ohtani to South Beach. The Marlins also, might do just fine without Ohtani on their roster, thanks to their 2023 Wildcard appearance. with the opportunity to build on that momentum for a stronger postseason run in 2024.
The Cubs are coming off another disappointing season, missing out on the postseason for a third straight season, despite an 83-79 record on the year. Ohtani would certainly add a gale-force making the Windy City turn upside down with his unbelievable talent. The Cubs just don’t have the roster that can help Ohtani obtain his goal of winning a World Series championship. with what they currently have. The Cubs would also face the issue of what they would have to spend in order attract Ohtani, which seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays started the 2023 season as the hottest team in baseball with a 23-6 record in April. After that, the Rays cold back down to finish in second place in the AL East behind the Baltimore Orioles. If Ohtani joined the Rays, it would help ignite the Rays’ chances of a World Series run in 2024, but with the Rays’ payroll, they would have to make a roster overhaul to pay Ohtani the contract he deserves as well as trim down the farm system with potential future talent wasted or overlooked, which could cost the Rays in the long term.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are coming off a disastrous 2023 season with a last-place finish in the NL Central. Ohtani would bring some new light to the team and All-Star veteran third baseman Nolan Arenado. However, the Cardinals would have to make some adjustments to their rebuilding roster to accommodate the kind of contract Ohtani would demand. This seems very unlikely as the Cardinals are not in win-now mode.
San Diego Padres
The Padres have one of baseball’s highest payrolls and they look like they could possibly land Ohtani. However, they’re already paying the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Joe Musgrove, and Manny Machado. If the Padres were to make a move for Ohtani’s talents, they would have some tough choices to make, including considering giving up one of their highly signed stars; make cuts to other important positions in their roster; trimming their farm system all to enter win-now mode with Ohtani at the helm. Ohtani in San Diego would make for dynamic gameplay in the short-term, but at a very high long-term price, for the Padres.
The Rangers were a surprise team to make it to the MLB Postseason this year, and have a World Series appearance after a seven-game back-and-forth battle with instate rivals the Houston Astros. Considering their current roster, they could potentially try and make a move for Ohtani and add him to a roster with All-Star caliber talent that helped the Rangers get to the World Series. But, bearing in mind, the Rangers already have Jacob DeGrom, Corey Seager, and Max Scherzer on lockdown, for now. Adding Ohtani would be a significant strain on the bank, and potentially call for one of the Rangers’ stars to either get released or take a pay cut, just to accommodate him.
The Orioles were a great young team to watch in the 2023 MLB season that made a postseason run before getting knocked out by the Texas Rangers in the ALDS. Adding Ohtani to their roster would require an overhaul of their farm system and a possible replacement off a few of their main starters from the rotation that helped get the Orioles into the postseason. It would be an excellent opportunity for a short-term goal of an immediate World Series run, for the O’s. But the Orioles are currently achieving their long-term goal of building a solid winning team with what they currently have. The timing may just not be right!
Similar to the Baltimore Orioles, the Minnesota Twins have made a great postseason run in 2023 before getting beaten by the Houston Astros three games to one in the ALDS. Ohtani could join the Twins, but they would have to potentially get rid of talent such as Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, or Christian Vasquez in order to accommodate Ohtani. The Twins already have a designated hitter (DH) in Royce Lewis and look to stay competitive in the AL Central with their current roster.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays, came off of an early 2023 Wildcard exit to the Minnesota Twins, but they are still a young and upcoming team in baseball. Ohtani could potentially flourish north of the border, but don’t get your hopes up, Toronto! There are far better options for Ohtani to consider in the AL East, that are constructed better than the Blue Jays. Some possible contenders going forward in 2024 include the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees as well as possibly the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves of the NL East. Anything is possible, but don’t expect the Blue Jays to make a move for Ohtani anytime soon.