The Boston Red Sox were, at one point, one of the teams that were considered one of the favorites to land Shohei Ohtani this offseason. There were rumors about how much he loved Boston and he had Boston-area connections with one of his main sponsors, New Balance. As much as Red Sox's ownership likes to keep a tight grip on their wallets, they could pay him if they wanted to and there is no denying Ohtani's earning power in addition to his production on the field.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox's new front office didn't seem to show that much urgency as the Ohtani Derby went on and Boston was rumored to be pivoting to other free agent and trade options instead of staying in the chase. The scuttlebutt yesterday was that Ohtani was headed to Toronto which would have been extra bad news for the Red Sox given that they play in the AL East, but that turned out to be total nonsense.
Today, we finally have an answer. Earlier this afternoon, Ohtani announced that he has agreed to join the Dodgers on a colossal $700 million deal.
Ohtani spurns Red Sox and agrees to sign record-breaking deal with the Dodgers
To say that this deal that Ohtani just agreed to changes the complexion of the entire league is an understatement. The previous record for the biggest contract in baseball history was the $426.5 million extension that Mike Trout got from the Angels and, well, Ohtani's deal makes that deal look like a minor league signing.
For the Red Sox, this means a few things. First, Shohei will be over in the National League and not on the division rival Blue Jays or, god forbid, the Yankees which certainly isn't the worst news. It certainly stinks that he won't be taking the field in Boston, but there was no chance that ownership was going to forking over that kind of money under any circumstance.
The bigger issue now is that with Shohei's free agency over with, the free agent market is about to open up in a big way. Teams like the Blue Jays, Giants, Cubs, and Angels that were heavily in on Ohtani are going to find new ways to spend that money and make up for lost time. Expect the big name free agent starters to start falling soon like Snell and Montgomery, although Yoshinobu Yamamoto could stall that market a little bit as he is going to start meeting with teams next week.
At least this whole saga is over now and the offseason can actually get started now.