The two-way Japanese superstar and reigning AL MVP is coveted, you'd have to imagine, by all 30 MLB teams. However, not every team meets the criteria that Ohtani is reportedly looking for. As we start to put the pieces of his sweepstakes-like free agency, you can start to piece together a proverbial wishlist for the soon-to-be former Angels sensation.
What exactly does that wishlist look like? There are three things we know:
- Ohtani wants to be in World Series contention
- Ohtani prefers a team that would amplify his marketability
- Ohtani hopes to keep his free agency behind closed doors
While you could argue that the first item is amplified by adding Ohtani, it does stand to reason that he wants to go to a team with star-caliber talent already in place and a front office that is ready to be aggressive. In terms of the front office, though, the third item indicates the need for a cohesive internal group that can be tight-lipped about proceedings.
So now that we have that established, which teams fit these criteria and should be considered frontrunners? Sorry, Yankees and Mets -- you didn't make the cut. But these five teams certainly did.
Shohei Ohtani Rumors: SF Giants will try with all their might
If there's one thing that we know with absolute certainty, it's that the San Francisco Giants are going to try their damnedest to get Shohei Ohtani.
President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi has not been shy about taking an aggressive approach in both free agency and the trade deadline, even if he's come up empty more often than not. Just look at last offseason when the Giants went full-bore after Aaron Judge, only for him to essentially use San Francisco as leverage to return to the Yankees. Throw in the Carlos Correa debacle, and you see how things have been going.
But the Giants are clearly in the mix to go after Ohtani as they search desperately for star-power. They will certainly have to be more tight-lipped in this case than they were in regards to Judge, but the pursuit of a star and whatever it takes to achieve that seems like the utmost importance to the organization, so they would do what it takes.
The big question for the Giants in relation to Ohtani's wishlist would be if they are positioned to compete for a World Series. With the young talent headlined by Logan Webb in the rotation in addition to budding stars like Patrick Bailey, there's an argument to be made that the reigning AL MVP could be the player to get them over the hump. However, the uncertainty around that is why they come in as the bottom of this list of frontrunners.