Braves Rumors: Shohei Ohtani 'intrigued' by playing for Braves
On one hand, it might seem like any dream of Shohei Ohtani coming to Atlanta is dead. Then there's this other hand that has recently come into view, one in which Ohtani would reportedly be "intrigued" by playing for the Braves.
MLB Network insider Jon Morosi recently broke down the latest Ohtani buzz after the GM Meetings in Scottsdale and mentioned a fascinating nugget that connected the two-way Japanese superstar to the Braves based on something that he'd heard.
"I think those type of ball clubs that are showing a willingness to compete and contend, whether it's the Chicago Cubs—I even had someone tell me in the last week or so that Shohei would be very intrigued about playing for the Atlanta Braves. Now, I don't expect the Braves to sign him as their priority is upgrading the pitching staff for 2024. But that gives you an idea of where his thought process is," Morosi said.
After the early buzz was all about Ohtani wanting to A. Stay on the West Coast, and B. Play for a contender, we've seen the apparent focuse for the free agent shift more in favor of the latter, which would obviously be highly advantageous for the Braves if they were interested.
The big question is if they would be interested, though. Starting pitching remains the priority for the Braves in a massive way this offseason and, with his UCL injury, Ohtani is not going to be able to pitch in the 2024 season. Of course, that shouldn't preclude Atlanta from pursuiting Ohtani in itself -- that would be asinine.
In the interest of piroritization, as Morosi hinted at, Ohtani might not be the top target for Anthopoulous and the Braves. However, if they do want to make a push for the superstar, it seems like they might have at least some chance to land him.