There is no player more desired this offseason than free agent Shohei Ohtani, and regardless of where the Red Sox stand, Boston could see plenty of the two-way phenom in the American League East in 2024.
The Blue Jays, one of Boston’s division rivals, are rumored to be in the mix as one of the more sneaky contenders to sign Ohtani. Granted, there hasn’t been confirmation of a meeting set to take place between Ohtani and Toronto, but the 2023 AL MVP — who’s played 13 career games at Rogers Centre — is noted to have fond memories when traveling there with the Los Angeles Angels.
“The Jays are an interesting surprise entrant for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani,” the New York Post’s Jon Heyman wrote Thursday. “They couldn’t confirm he’s planning a visit but one Jays person said he heard Ohtani liked previous stops there.”
Ohtani is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, therefore, no team could be deemed a “surprise” if linked, even the Blue Jays. Regardless of the landing spot, Ohtani would become the instant face of any franchise, upgrading the lineup and pitching rotation of whoever he decides to sign with.
Story continues below advertisement
Then again, that could create an inconvenience for the Red Sox who are seeking a way out of their trio of last-place finishes in the AL East in the past four seasons.
In 14 career games played at Fenway Park, Ohtani has hit .310/.344/.466 with two home runs, 18 doubles and nine RBIs against Boston pitching. That’s through a six-year run with the Angels, and a sample size that could be a yearly thing if Ohtani signs with any AL East squad.
Ohtani was named AL MVP for the second time in his career after crushing an AL-leading 44 home runs at the plate and going 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA on the mound. As the consensus No. 1 free-agent option available, the question remains: how much will it take to sign Ohtani?
Featured image via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images