Free agency has officially started in MLB.
On Sunday, for example, it was reported that star pitcher Aaron Nola will be returning to the Philadelphia Phillies on a seven-year, $172 million contract.
Teams are now able to sign any player on the free agent market, and when it comes to the available pool, Shohei Ohtani is the biggest star.
Despite the fact he probably won’t pitch in 2024 due to severe ligament damage in his elbow, his offensive prowess and ability to pitch from 2025 on make him a candidate to set the record for the most expensive free agent deal.
The Seattle Mariners need a player like Ohtani: a consistent thumper, capable of hitting 44 home runs, driving in 95 runs, and posting a 1.066 OPS over a full season.
Their rotation is very solid, but it certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to add a pitcher capable of posting a 3.14 ERA in 132 frames, with 167 strikeouts, from 2025 and into the future.
However, according to a Mariners insider, their chances of getting Ohtani might not be as good, or realistic, so they might pivot to other targets.
“Industry sources believe that Shohei Ohtani doesn’t appear to be in the Mariners’ realistic agenda this offseason, per @DKramer_,”Talkin’ Baseball tweeted.
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) November 18, 2023
Daniel Kramer covers the Mariners for MLB.com, and talks with executives, coaches, and other people in the organization.
In theory, the 2021 and 2023 AL MVP makes perfect sense for the organization.
They are contenders, they are right there, and with Ohtani on board, they could dream about a World Series title.
But it would be a $500 million investment at minimum, potentially much larger than that.
It’s crazy money, and the team might be realizing that, per Kramer.
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