The first big domino in Major League Baseball free agency fell Saturday, and it should open things up for the Red Sox to continue the frenzy.

Shohei Ohtani announced via Instagram he will sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His agent Nez Balelo confirmed the 29-year-old signed a 10-year, $700 million contract, the largest contract in sports history.

The decision came after Juan Soto was traded to the New York Yankees, so the two big names in the offseason market officially are locked up with their new teams.

The Boston Red Sox are linked to Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is the next big name on the market. Chief baseball officer Craig Breslow emphasized pitching as a priority for the Red Sox, and Yamamoto would help in that effort.

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This year’s winter meetings were a quiet one for most MLB teams, except for the Soto trade and the Alex Verdugo trade. That was due to everyone wondering where Ohtani would land.

Now that the Ohtani domino fell, negotiations could move more quickly. Boston also is linked to other starting pitchers like Seth Lugo and Jordan Montgomery, who also would be a great addition to solidify the starting pitching staff.

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There also is a need for a starting second baseman, which a player like Whit Merrifield could fill. And speaking of the veteran infielder, the Red Sox also caught a break that the Toronto Blue Jays rumors ended up being untrue.

The prospect of facing Soto and Ohtani in the American League East was a scary one, but now Boston has to wait until after the All-Star break to face the Dodgers on July 19. The Red Sox will play a three-game series with the projected 1-2-3 punch of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Ohtani, which makes pitching even more of a priority if Boston were to have more matchups against Los Angeles beyond that series.

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However, the fact Toronto was even close to signing Ohtani does show how competitive the rest of the AL East wants to be. The Red Sox should make efforts to match that offseason intensity and achieve the goals set after this past season.

The early trades that involved Luis Urías and Verdugo, as well as the acquisition of Tyler O’Neill, do signal Breslow and his staff are actively searching the market and finding value where it can be found. And all eyes will be on what the next big move for the Red Sox will be.

Featured image via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images