In the wake of a surprisingly brief postseason run, the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly leading the race to sign Shohei Ohtani, as the Japanese two-way sensation prepares to part ways with the Los Angeles Angels after six seasons.
Despite Ohtani's stellar individual performances, including a host of accolades, his tenure with the Angels has been marked by an absence from playoff action. As his time with the Halos draws to a close following his last arbitration-eligible season, the likelihood of his departure increases.
The Dodgers' impressive regular-season achievements, capped by yet another season with over 100 victories, fell into stark contrast with their unexpected sweep by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS. This juxtaposition has ignited the fanbase to call for a significant shakeup to a roster that appeared to crumble under the pressures of October baseball.
Rosenthal: Dodgers Need Ohtani
Renowned MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal weighed in, suggesting the Dodgers are not just the probable destination for Ohtani but also stand to benefit immensely from the dynamic edge he offers. "The Dodgers, I believe, still are the favorites for Ohtani.
And beyond that, they need Ohtani. They have a collection of division crowns and postseason appearances, but the only World Series trophy in recent memory came from an abbreviated 2020 season. It seems that part of their fanbase is seeking excitement, a spark to reignite their passion...
I still see them as a force in the division and the force for Ohtani," Rosenthal commented. Amid the buzz of potential roster enhancements, the Dodgers face the challenge of bolstering a pitching rotation that has seen better days.
Shohei Ohtani, at 29 years old, is not only a highly regarded hitter but also an accomplished pitcher. However, his ability to contribute from the mound won't be an immediate boon for the Dodgers; following Tommy John surgery, Ohtani is expected to be sidelined from pitching duties for the entire 2024 season.
His recovery timeline means that his dual-threat capabilities, a significant draw for any team, will have to wait. Despite this setback, the anticipation of Ohtani's bat and eventual return to the mound continues to keep the Dodgers at the forefront of what promises to be a spirited pursuit.
The possibility of Ohtani swapping his Angels jersey for a Dodgers one has the potential to not only shift the dynamics of the franchise but also send ripples through the entire landscape of Major League Baseball.