The Chicago Cubs are reportedly going to be very aggressive in trying to acquire Shohei Ohtani
The offseason has just begun and general managers around Major League Baseball are back to work. The Cubs need to make a lot of moves if they want to compete in 2024. Adding a certified elite superstar like Shohei Ohtani would surely help.
USA TODAY Sports Major League Baseball columnist Bob Nightengale wrote on Ohtani and the teams in pursuit as the MLB Winter Meetings are underway in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Nightengale mentioned the Cubs as a team that is considered a serious contender for Shohei Ohtani, which should be good news for Cubs fans:
So now, they’ll take their chances and compete with the big boys. The Dodgers remain the heavy favorites. The Chicago Cubs and Rangers are serious contenders, with several GMs saying that the Cubs may be the most aggressive team for his services. And it would be foolish to count out the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets or even San Francisco Giants.
“Great player, I think there’s going to be a lot of attention on it,’’ Minasian said. “And I understand why. We’ll see how the off-season develops. We’ve got our plan, and we’re going to try and execute that plan and we’ll see where everything goes.’’
With the Cubs hiring Craig Counsell as their new manager, they are going all in to make a run at another World Series. Last season, the team fell short of the playoffs but was better than expected going into the season. The focus will now be on improving the team and trying to get to that next step of making the playoffs in 2024.
What type of contract would Shohei Ohtani accept?
Shohei Ohtani is an unrestricted free agent. Meaning any and all teams can offer him a contract if they so choose.
What do you pay a player like Ohtani? He is elite as a hitter and a pitcher. Which is not seen around the modern MLB. He dominates on both sides of home plate.
In 2022, “Sho-time” became the first player to finish in the top-15 in both home runs hit and strikeouts pitched in a season since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893. Before the 2023 season concluded, he was in the top three in both categories. Ohtani is doing things, fans, players, and managers never even dreamed of being possible.
Ohtani will not be able to pitch in 2024 after undergoing a second surgery on his UCL. That should not really impact his value on the free agent market. Ohtani’s pitching has been so good, most teams would be willing to wait a year for him to return to the pitchers mound.
According to the New York Post, the 28-year old is set to cash in during this offseason: Shohei Ohtani is projected to earn over $500 million — approximately $50 million per year for 10 years — in his next contract.
Could the Cubs actually land Shohei Ohtani?
The Cubs front office has shown that they want to win. Last offseason the Cubs splashed the cash. They committed 300 million dollars to free agents in the 2022 offseason.
Money isn’t an issue and word from Ohtani’s camp is that he wants to win. The Cubs do have holes to fill on the roster, especially in the pitching rotation. Adding Ohtani would immediately improve the Cubs chances to contend.
One more factor the Cubs have in their favor is Seiya Suzuki. Suzuki has made his pitch to his fellow countryman, Ohtani, to try and bring him to Wrigley Field. Suzuki and Ohtani were teammates for team Japan at the World Baseball Classic.
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