The SF Giants will be in the mix for two-way star Shohei Ohtani this offseason. However, they will be one of several teams in the mix. Unfortunately, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic still considers the Los Angeles Dodgers the favorites to land Ohtani.
Rosenthal: SF Giants division foes considered favorites to land superstar
The MLB Insider joined the Foul Territory podcast to discuss the Dodgers' pursuit of Ohtani:
"The Dodgers, I still believe, are the favorites for Ohtani. And, beyond that, I actually believe that they need Ohtani... I still see them as being a force in the division and a force for Ohtani."- Ken Rosenthal
For a team that already has Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, it is hard to believe that they could add even more star power to the lineup in the near future. That could be the case if Rosenthal's prediction turns out to be correct.
If you are wondering whether Rosenthal is by himself in this belief, I have some bad news for you. MLB Trade Rumors published its Top 50 Free Agent Predictions on Monday and all three moderators predicted that Ohtani would land with Los Angeles.
The two-way star had another incredible season in 2023. He slashed .304/.412/.654 (184 OPS+) with 44 home runs, 95 RBI, and 102 runs in 599 plate appearances. This includes a 15.2 percent walk rate, 23.9 percent strikeout rate, and a .350 ISO. Ohtani led the American League in most important offensive categories.
Of course, that is not the only way he contributes on the field. The 29-year-old posted a 3.14 ERA in 23 appearances for the Los Angeles Angels as well. However, he underwent Tommy John surgery recently and is not expected to pitch in 2024.
It is believed that Ohtani wants to play for a team that gives him a chance to compete in the playoffs. Despite being one of the best players in baseball as well as playing on the same team as Mike Trout, Ohtani has never made it to the playoffs in his six-year career. This is at no fault of his own as he did just about everything he could to help the Angels win.
The Ohtani market is expected to be unique in baseball history. He is projected to break any previous contract record by a comfortable margin. The Dodgers have the money to spend, but they will not be the only team bidding for his services. The Giants along with most other big-market teams should be players as well.