Where two-way star Shohei Ohtani will land this offseason is truly the $500 million question. No one knows, but Jon Heyman of the New York Post offered his best guess on Thursday with the SF Giants being identified as one of the co-favorites to land Ohtani.
Heyman: SF Giants considered co-favorites to land two-way star in free agency
Heyman also listed the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Texas Rangers as the other co-favorites. The New York Mets and Boston Red Sox are not too far behind. Before you say it, I am right there with you in that Heyman may not be the most reliable source, especially to Giants fans after the "Arson Judge" fiasco of last offseason.
On a side note, I remember taking multi-choice tests in school. I am sure you did as well. Usually, there would be a question followed by four possible answers. How great would it have been if you could just select three answers for every question? I would have certainly passed geometry class during my freshman year in high school using that approach.
While Heyman may not be the most reliable source, his opinion is still informed speculation. Whether it is Heyman or another source, there will be plenty of chatter surrounding the Giants and Ohtani this winter.
Of course, there was plenty of chatter with the Giants and Aaron Judge as well as Carlos Correa last winter and look at how that went. The front office needs to get a star free agent to the finish line, which has not happened since Barry Bonds joined them following the 1992 season.
There will be plenty of demand for Ohtani this winter. However, there might only be a handful of teams who can reasonably afford the 29-year-old star. He will likely not pitch in 2024 but he would offer a considerable boost to any lineup.
Ohtani posted a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts before being shut down with an elbow injury that has since been surgically repaired. Details about his recovery are not yet known. On the other hand, the left-handed bat slashed .304/.410/.654 (184 OPS+) with 44 home runs, 95 RBI, and 102 runs in 599 plate appearances. He led the American League in home runs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Despite his track record with the bat, Heyman does speculate as to whether Ohtani would sign up to play in a ballpark like Oracle Park that is tough on left-handed hitters. Regardless of where he plays, the six-year veteran is going to hit. His free-agent pursuit is going to be one of the more unique instances in baseball history.