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Will Shohei Ohtani Fulfill His West Coast Free Agency Wish With a Los Angeles Switch to the Dodgers?

Published 10/01/2023, 3:30 PM EDT

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The race is on. Baseball’s regular season is at an end, which means just the postseason remains before free agents hit the market. The biggest of them all will be Shohei Ohtani, whose next contract value is predicted to be at least around $500 million. For teams that can afford to pay any hefty sums, the Japanese sensation will be their top priority. If rumors are to be believed, it may be his cross-town rivals in blue.

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The Los Angeles Angels have spectacularly wasted away the two-way player’s prime. While Ohtani has crossed the realm of individual accomplishments any athlete can achieve, team success eludes him. It’s almost certain he will leave Anaheim in search of new colors to wear, but will Ohtani leave Los Angeles entirely?

Los Angeles Dodgers – Shotime’s Next Destination?


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For years, rumors have swirled that Shohei Ohtani prefers the West Coast over the East. When choosing a team the first time he was available for clubs to make their offers, the final list was down to seven. The majority of them were on the West Coast, which Shotime apparently preferred because of its proximity to his home country.

But according to some reports, it’s specifically Los Angeles that the slugger wants. While he originally chose the Angels for the leeway they provided with his two-way abilities, success with them has been hard to come by. Luckily for Ohtani, LA’s NL team is the complete opposite. Chock full of a competent roster, the Dodgers have been consistently good over the last several years. With names like Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts on long contracts, there is no shortage of talent.


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What’s more, the journey from Angel Stadium of Anaheim to Dodger Stadium is less than an hour. Instead of bloodred jerseys, Ohtani will cool blues. But most importantly, he can be assured of team victories and starting with the playoffs, a much-awaited trip to the World Series. Will these two entities come together for the sake of baseball?

Will the Boys in Blue Still Want Shohei Ohtani Despite Injury Concerns?


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Soon after he announced surgery, many were concerned about Shotime’s next contract. But MLB analysts predict that even a second UCL tear cannot downplay the massive numbers that Ohtani’s suitors will present. Neal ElAttrache, the doctor who performed his surgery, is incidentally on the Dodgers’ payroll. But that fact, unfortunately, has nothing to do with Ohtani’s next expected destination. Wherever Shotime ends up on the next Opening Day, which is when he is expected to resume hitting, will probably be based on other factors.

Pitching will have to wait until 2025, which the Dodgers are currently in need of. But if they decide to take a chance on baseball’s unicorn, their payroll can take the hit for one year and wait out Ohtani’s recovery. While every fan wants the two-way sensation on their team, many predict the NL LA team will be among the finalists.


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Now it’s all a game of time, and waiting.

WATCH THIS STORY – Angelic Heartbreak – Shohei Ohtani’s Departure Leaves LA Angels Fans in Uncharted Disappointment

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Written by:

Arunima Bhanot


One take at a time

Arunima Bhanot is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Her tryst with MLB was accidental, but what followed was nothing short of a pursuit of excellence. Arunima's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks on multiple occasions, highlighting her exceptional attention to detail and insightful coverage.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj