Thursday, November 30 2023

Yankees star Aaron Judge was the second-most-picked player among his peers who were asked which player they’d sign first, earning 14.5 percent of the vote. Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. (9.7 percent) and Orioles phenom Adley Rutschman (5.8 percent) finished in third and fourth, respectively. Mike Trout, Julio Rodriguez and Yordan Alvarez also received multiple votes in the poll.

As the players tabbed Ohtani as the player they’d most like to build around, major-league teams will get their chance to make that happen this offseason. Ohtani is set to become a free agent when his contract expires later in 2023.

So, with Ohtani set to hit the open market, the players were also asked which team they think he’ll sign with this offseason. They gave a pretty clear answer: The Los Angeles Dodgers. Of the 96 players who responded to the poll, 57.2 percent picked the local rival of the team Ohtani currently plays for. 

“Seems like the Dodgers are making space to run at him, and he would fit well on that roster,” a pitcher told The Athletic. 

There are some players who think Ohtani will remain with the Angels, with 11.2 percent of them saying he’ll play there in 2024, which was the second-highest percentage a team received in the vote. The Padres and Mets (7.2 percent) were tied for third while the Yankees came in fifth (6.3 percent). 

As there have been rumors that Ohtani would like to stay on the West Coast, a couple of players believe that his decision will ultimately come down to one thing: money.

“The Mets and Padres will get in a bidding war and the Dodgers will swoop in,” a player told The Athletic. 

Ohtani is expected to sign the richest contract in MLB history this offseason. In fact, two MLB executives speculated earlier in the season that Ohtani will receive the first $600 million contract in MLB history, believing he’ll break the threshold with an 11- or 12-year deal. 

So far in 2023, Ohtani has only added to his case to earn the richest contract in the history of North American professional sports. His recent tear at the plate has him in first place in the American League in home runs (24) and RBIs (58) to go along with a .300 batting average and a 1.015. 

Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout hit back-to-back home runs to grab the Angels’ lead over the Royals

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Source: FOX Sports


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