Jeff Passan Breaks Down Shohei Ohtani’s Priorities: Evaluates Dodgers, Mets, Mariners Chances in $500 Million Pursuit

Published 11/19/2023, 11:39 AM EST

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If it feels awfully quiet recently, chances are that a storm is brewing. Shohei Ohtani has put forth a request to keep things private, but heavy matters like his highly anticipated $500 million deal do not really remain silent. The media is filled with expert opinions, speculations, and research work to understand where Ohtani is headed. Though nobody can read his mind, one can surely predict the things that the Japanese superstar might keep as his priorities. 

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ESPN’s top insider, Jeff Passan, recently evaluated a few things about Ohtani’s free agency. During this, he said some things that were rather interesting and made one think about the priorities of Shohei Ohtani during this offseason. 

Shohei Ohtani’s focus: Areas that demand his attention

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ESPN’s popular writer Jeff Passan was recently talking about the 2023 AL MVP. He put forth quite a few points with regard to how Ohtani might deal with his free agency going forward. Passan tackled questions like what every team has to offer to the 29-year-old and what might pique his interest for them. At one point, Passan said that Ohtani can go either for resonance, money, or comfort. But where exactly will he find those things?

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According to Passan, he can find resonance in the Seattle Mariners due to their deep relationship between the team and the players, including the Japanese legendary Ichiro Suzuki. (While the idea that the Mariners will pay a premium for Ohtani currently lacks substance). But as was revealed a few hours ago, the Sailors have officially withdrawn from this voyage. Yet it cannot be denied their Japan connection could’ve played a big role.

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The New York Mets were the team that he named as ones with money. If it’s financial resources he seeks, no one possesses more than the owner of the New York Mets, Steve Cohen. Other than them, Passan named the LA Angels as the team that would give him a comfort. The Angles is a team where the two-way phenom enjoyed a considerable degree of freedom over the past six years. But the question that comes to mind is, will the slugger’s ambitions get fulfilled with a team that hasn’t qualified for the postseason in a decade?

Apart from the three factors stated by Passan, Ohtani seems to love California, which could be a big reason for the LA Dodgers still leading the race for the Japanese ace. They have the money, pedigree, ambition, and comfort that could attract Ohtani. Still, as Passan said, the biggest problem for teams is not the $500 million expectation but rather his second Tommy John surgery. Will he be able to pitch again in the same form?

Though his agent has repeatedly said that he will pitch again in 2025, experts doubt that he’d manage to meet his consistency from 2021 to 2023. But what else does Ohtani bring that makes him an attractive player to have?

What makes Ohtani an attractive prospect?

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Shohei Ohtani’s on-field activities are certainly impressive, but even more fascinating is his impact outside of it. Ohtani is one of the, if not, the biggest stars in baseball currently. With massive endorsements to his name, the brand of Ohtani is only growing stronger. He could make more than $20 million for any team he becomes a part of any team.

That number would go even higher if one includes the high stadium attendance figures that Ohtani regularly brings. People from all walks of life come especially to watch this generational talent play. More than on-field, the two-way phenom gives any team access to a massive fanbase that he brings and that sure is worth $500 million.

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So who will Ohtani sign with? But more importantly, will the two-time MVP finally get to play the postseason and potentially win a World Series? Will he finally get to win everything that this great sport has to offer?

Watch This Story: Young Shohei Ohtani’s Journey To Elite Hitting Proving His Little League Coach Wrong

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Written by:

Sanskar.dubey

556Articles

One take at a time

"Rigidity leads to demise, while adaptability paves the path to vitality." Driven by a deep passion for sports, I’m glad I found baseball. Now serving as an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, I love to write about the thrilling tussle between the National League and American League throughout the season, although I may have a fondness for the Yankees icon Alex Rodriguez.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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