Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes Heat Up as Cubs, Mets, and Yankees Duel for Two-Way Phenom’s Signature

Published 11/20/2023, 2:52 PM EST

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A post recently surfaced on Twitter where the people of New York were ecstatic about seeing a billboard displaying their favorite two-way phenom, Shohei Ohtani. The same ad was seen on the streets of Boston as well. Although people are calling it a marketing stunt, it might indicate a deeper message. Is Shotime on his way to visit the citizens of the East Coast anytime soon?

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Ohtani has been the top prospect in all of MLB’s offseason drafting after his free agency option. Since then, the biggest and wealthiest clubs have been making a run for him. However, there are three teams that top the list at this very moment.

Trial of the trios for Shohei Ohtani

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Shohei Ohtani is the top target for three major MLB names: the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets, and the New York Yankees. The Yankees and the Mets have been in the race for quite a while now, with their pursuit going all the way back to 2017. However, the Cubs are preparing themselves to pursue Shotime with all new vigor, as they just let two of their priciest players go.

The Cubs let sluggers Jason Heyward and Cody Bellinger off the team this month. Heyward and Bellinger cost the club $21 million and $17.5 million a year respectively in salaries. This indicates that they have enough revenue on their hands right now to get Ohtani to agree to a long-term contract. Although there are rumors that Bellinger might re-sign, it’s nothing substantial.

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Shohei Ohtani’s predicted contract value stands around $500 million to $600 million for a 10-year deal. Which means he is expected to receive a hefty sum of $50 million to $60 million a year. The Yankees and Mets clubhouses have pockets deeper than most teams, so it’s only natural that Ohtani’s admirers would expect them to go after him. Despite all the speculation, it is still not clear which team Ohtani is going to choose for the next season—if he chooses any at all.

Will the Cubs be the surprise winner in the Ohtani race?

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Ohtani has been reportedly holding secret free agency meetings behind closed doors, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN fame. In his words, “If visits between Ohtani and a team are reported publicly, it will be held against the team, so the circles will be tiny and tight.” Despite having an uncertain season ahead because of Tommy John surgery, fans can expect Ohtani to play as a hitter until the 2025 season arrives. But his two-way days are far from over, that’s for sure.

The Cubs reportedly pursued Ohtani once, back in 2017, before he chose to go with the Los Angeles Angels. Right now, they regret not being more active in pursuing him back then. The no-designated hitter rule of the National League back then is what kept them at bay. Now that the rule’s been changed, the Cubs are seeing new hopes on the Shohei Ohtani Horizon. “Ohtani would own Wrigley Field, literally,” said an anonymous National League scout about his prospective Cubs future. “He’d own Chicago, for sure.”

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Where do you think Shotime can land? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta

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One take at a time

"Those who gaze outward dream, but those who turn inward awaken." A pro-writer for MLB EssentiallySports, I’ve been a fan of the New York Yankees since my school days. In my adolescent years, I was introduced to the iconic franchise through one of my beloved Friends characters, Joey.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot

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