The closer the Mets inch toward their offseason, the more speculation emerges surrounding a potential pursuit of Shohei Ohtani.
On his show, Fair Territory, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was the latest to re-link Ohtani to the Mets, predicting that the superstar’s free-agent sweepstakes will come down to either New York or the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Where do we think Ohtani will go? The Dodgers have been favorites for a long time, or at least a team thought to be definitely in the mix,” Rosenthal said. “I do not rule out the Mets. I do not see [team owner] Steve Cohen simply passing on [him]… I still think it comes down to LA vs. New York. The Dodgers vs. the Mets.”
The allure of the greatest two-way talent in Major League Baseball history should be too great for any team to pass up on — even with Ohtani being unable to pitch in 2024 after undergoing surgery on his torn UCL.
He’ll still be able to swing a bat and with it, he’s one of the best sluggers in the game right now. Teaming him up as the designated hitter alongside Pete Alonso for 2024 would be as imposing a power-hitting duo as any in baseball.
Of course, there comes the question of Ohtani’s price tag, which could still be near $500 million even with the uncertainty surrounding his pitching status. General manager Billy Eppler teased that his team wouldn’t be aggressive on the free-agent market this winter and there’s also the not-so-small task of extending Alonso, who will be a free agent following the 2024 season.
But that doesn’t appear to be slowing down the Ohtani-to-Mets rumor mill. This month alone, SNY’s John Harper reported that New York is expected to make the biggest offer to the 29-year-old this offseason. In a piece by The Athletic’s Jim Bowden where he spoke with multiple league executives, they listed Cohen’s club as one of the favorites for the Angels star, too.