The Shohei Ohtani experience: every team tried to get their hands on it this offseason, and for good reason.
This generation’s Babe Ruth has won two of the last three AL MVP’s for his power at the plate and velocity on the mound. In 2023, he hit .304 with 43 homeruns at the plate, and produced a 3.14 ERA with 167 strikeouts on his way to winning with the MVP.
Ohtani inquired of a long-term deal with a new franchise this offseason, and he finally put pen to paper on Saturday morning. Perhaps the most recognizable face across the globe when it comes to baseball, Ohtani was reportedly hoping for a deal north of $600 million.
The Dodgers gave him $700 million.
The two-way superstar performed his own version of a Taylor Swift tour this offseason, visiting the facilities of many franchises in which he had shown interest. Teams closed their apparel shops and abruptly shut down ballpark tours upon Ohtani’s arrival. Put simply, it was a battle of genuflection among some of the proudest, most affluent people in the world. And it was all for one player, because he’s THAT good.
After much secrecy and deliberation, Ohtani’s decision to sign with the Dodgers puts the MLB in a tailspin. LA’s lineup now features three current and/or former MVP’s: Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, and Shohei Ohtani. In fact, although Ronald Acuna Jr. won the 2023 NL MVP, the other two candidates were Betts and Freeman. So, 3/6 of the 2023 MVP candidates now hit 1-2-3 on the same team.
Ohtani will not pitch in 2024 for the Dodgers due to a torn UCL injury he suffered last season. However, the Dodgers will get Walker Buehler back after he underwent a second Tommy John surgery. Buehler will complement a star-studded staff of guys like Julio Urias, Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, and Bobby Miller.
MLB fans will have to wait until 2025 to see Ohtani’s 100mph fastball, but his bat will be on full display in the heart of the Dodgers lineup at the start of next season.
The Dodgers lineup will now look something like this:
Good luck with this power imbalance, MLB.