As the season extends and the days progress we inch closer and closer to the Ohtani sweepstakes. Shohei Ohtani has taken the MLB by storm since he joined the league as he has been able to provide efficient numbers as a hitter and a pitcher.
But the hype train has only just begun as Ohtani's contract with the Los Angeles Angels is set to expire after this season leaving the baseball world questioning where the dual player will land this off-season and should Chaim Bloom and ownership make a play at the two-way All-Star.
It may seem a bit premature to start thinking about where Ohtani will land, but when you are putting up superstar numbers as a pitcher and a hitter, you get people talking. Since joining the MLB Ohtani has 584 hits, 139 homers, 375 RBI, and a Rookie of the Year award attached to his resume.
One of the most impressive pieces to Ohtani's game is his ability to dominate on the mound. Since 2018, Ohtani has struck out 531 batters with a record of 33-15, and an ERA of 2.95. Ohtani joined Babe Ruth as the only player in MLB history to hit over 100 home runs while striking out 500-plus batters while pitching.
"Shotime" has been able to steal the show this season as well, notching a 5-1 record with a 2.91 ERA and a WHIP rate of 0.95. Ohtani has continued to show his versatility as a batter as well where he has a slash line of .267/.342/.530 with 15 homers, 38 RBI, and seven stolen bases.
The Boston Red Sox could use a revitalization, especially by acquiring a generational talent like Shohei Ohtani. Still, the biggest question is whether Boston is willing to put the money forward in signing the phenom.
Looking at recent years the Red Sox have made minor splashes in free agency and have even passed on extending and paying home grown talent like Mookie Betts and Xander Boagerts. According to Spotrac, the team ranks middle of the pack in payroll with a 26-man payroll of $122,733.178.
If the Sox do consider to be aggressive in signing Ohtani they should expect to empty the pockets for a record breaking contract this off-season. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that an agent within the MLB believes Ohtani's upcoming contract could demand well over $500 million, which would break the record being the highest-paid contract in the history of the MLB.
""One major league official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because tampering rules forbid him from discussing prospective free agents on other teams, said he believed the bidding would start at $500 million and reach $600 million. One agent predicted Ohtani will sign a 12-year, $600-million deal.""- Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times
The Red Sox have their work cut out for them if they wish to partake in the Ohtani sweepstakes. With the team lacking star power and the season progressing in the wrong direction for the Sox, signing Ohtani could be a step in the right direction for the team moving forward. At the end of the day, it all comes down to whether or not ownership is willing to open their checkbook for the league's most intriguing superstar.