Shohei Ohtani rumors: Surprise team still in, Jays want more, historic contract

  • Shohei Ohtani's contract could reach a truly historic number
  • Blue Jays are targeting Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto. Why?
  • Braves still in communication with Ohtani's representation

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Shohei Ohtani rumors: Blue Jays are desperate to take the next step

The Toronto Blue Jays' front office has been mostly reserved and calculated in recent years, taking only a few major swings. Now, the floodgates have been opened. The Blue Jays are considered top contenders to sign Shohei Ohtani and trade for Juan Soto.

Ken Rosenthal and Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic provided a detailed report on why the Blue Jays' approach has so suddenly shifted. Gone are the days of financial conservatism in Toronto. The Jays are ready to contend for the World Series.

The primary reason Rosenthal and McGrath point to is Toronto's disappointing postseason exit. Now 0-6 in their past four postseasons, it's time for the Jays to go from upstart underdog to actual contender. There's no excuse for so consistently floundering in October. One potential solution, obviously, is to acquire one (or two) of the MLB's foremost offensive weapons.

Also, the Rogers Centre is currently undergoing $300 million renovations, which will increase ticket prices. That makes the Jays particularly vulnerable to a discontent fanbase, as a decrease in attendence and viewership could be catastrophic to ownership's financial goals. Ohtani would draw a huge market, both domestically and internationally.

Future contract negotiations for Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also loom on the horizon. Both hit free agency in 2025 and neither has signed an extension. That, combined with the increasing pressure on Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins and team president Josh Shapiro, has put the front office in win-now mode. Another disappointing season could lead to drastic personnel changes in the front office.

Toronto can bid all they want, but to actually land Ohtani or Soto is another matter entirely. The San Diego Padres' asking price for Soto is known to be astronomical. Ohtani might cost over $600 million. It's time for Toronto to put up or shut up.