Title: Shohei Ohtani to Choose Next Team by End of Friday, Dodgers and Blue Jays Among Finalists
In an exciting development for baseball fans, two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani is set to make a decision on his next team by the end of the day Friday. With both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays as finalists, the anticipation is mounting to see where Ohtani will land.
Recently, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed that the team had a meeting with Ohtani, indicating their strong interest in acquiring the versatile player. Meanwhile, Ohtani is believed to have visited the Blue Jays’ renovated spring training complex earlier this week, further fueling speculation about his potential move.
While Ohtani won’t be able to pitch next season due to elbow surgery, he remains the proud winner of his second unanimous AL MVP award this past season. However, he is expected to be ready to contribute as a designated hitter on Opening Day.
Looking ahead to the future, Ohtani is projected to return as a two-way player in 2025, serving as both a pitcher and hitter. If the Blue Jays are able to secure his signing, Ohtani’s presence would give their lineup a much-needed left-handed thump and star power for the upcoming season.
The Blue Jays struggled with left-handed hitting in the previous season, ranking third-fewest in plate appearances and 18th in OPS among all teams. Ohtani’s arrival would not only balance Toronto’s lineup but also provide a significant offensive boost.
The potential 2024 lineup with Ohtani highlights formidable names like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, George Springer, and Ohtani himself at the top of the order. Additionally, while the Blue Jays do have rising talents like Alejandro Kirk and Daulton Varsho, landing Ohtani would grant them a greater margin for error.
Fortunately for the Blue Jays, their rotation does not require immediate help, meaning they can afford to wait for Ohtani to regain his pitching abilities by 2025.
The team’s potential 2025 rotation with Ohtani includes Kevin Gausman, José Berríos, Chris Bassitt, and Alek Manoah. Despite Ohtani’s unique workload necessitating a six-man rotation, the Blue Jays possess the necessary depth to accommodate this strategy.
Moreover, with Ohtani potentially replacing pitcher Yusei Kikuchi in the rotation, top prospect Griffin Tiedemann could make his debut in 2024, adding further intrigue to the Blue Jays’ pitching lineup.
While uncertainties remain regarding Manoah and the No. 5 spot in the rotation, it’s important to remember that all teams face similar questions and challenges.
As Shohei Ohtani ponders his next move, the baseball world eagerly awaits the announcement that will shape the dynamic landscape of the upcoming season. Whether he chooses the powerhouse Dodgers or the promising Blue Jays, Ohtani’s addition to any team is sure to spark excitement and elevate their chances for success.
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