MLB Rumors: Don't blame Alex Anthopoulos if Braves can't land Shohei Ohtani

The Atlanta Braves were mentioned as a possible destination for Shohei Ohtani and Dylan Cease. Not so fast my friends.

Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves / Adam Hagy/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves were mentioned as a team of interest in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes by Jon Morosi of MLB Network. However, that still appears to be a longshot, as Ohtani has yet to meet with the Braves, nor would he take the short-term, high AAV contract Atlanta would likely offer him. Also, the Braves paying Ohtani more than defending NL MVP Ronald Acuña wouldn't be great for optics. Braves insider Mark Bowman all but confirmed an Ohtani deal with the Braves won't happen on Monday night.

When all is said and done, Ohtani could sign a contract in the $600 million range, especially with incentives included in that final estimation. While Shohei's future as a pitcher is uncertain, he's a two-time MVP and brings with him a high marketing valuation which should only increase his own asking price.

If the Braves don't get a deal done -- and at the moment it would be a shock if they even made an offer Ohtani takes seriously -- don't blame Alex Anthopoulos.

The only way Braves can sign Shohei Ohtani has little to do with Alex Anthopoulos

In an article written by David O'Brien of The Athletic, the Braves insider made clear that final payroll decisions -- especially as it pertains to a high-priced free agent like Ohtani -- are not made by Anthopoulos. Such is usually the case with complex ownership groups.

O'Brien's argument as to why the Braves should consider Ohtani is simple: stock price. If Atlanta were to sign Ohtani, the value of the franchise would surely increase. In making his argument, however, O'Brien points to the person really in charge -- Terry McGuirk.

"Liberty has allowed McGuirk and Anthopoulos to make all the baseball decisions in the past, and McGuirk is the one who basically sets the payroll and gives Anthopoulos permission to go over budget when need arises," O'Brien wrote.

Without that permission, all Anthopoulos can do is sit on his hands. The Braves do not need Ohtani to win a World Series. The same cannot be said about every team interested in his services. Yet, Ohtani is a luxury, and one Atlanta is letting money get in the way of.

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