Los Angeles Angels superstar hitter/pitcher Shohei Ohtani can become an unrestricted free agent this winter, and if he does hit the market, there's a good chance he earns the largest contract in MLB history.
The Boston Red Sox, who fired chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom on Thursday, are in need of a franchise cornerstone player as they head toward another October without playoff games at Fenway Park.
Could the Red Sox realistically be in the mix for Ohtani in free agency?
Longtime MLB columnist and reporter Peter Gammons dropped an interest bit of information on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday afternoon.
The New Balance aspect is interesting. The company is based in Brighton, Mass., and it has an endorsement deal with Ohtani.
Ohtani coming to the Red Sox would be a massive deal, and one of the biggest offseason additions in Boston sports history. The 29-year-old two-way star is the overwhelming favorite for American League MVP this season, even though he was ruled out for the rest of the year a few weeks ago due to a torn UCL in his right elbow.
He batted .304 with 44 home runs and 95 RBI in 135 games. He also earned a 10-5 record, a 3.14 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP as a pitcher.
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Ohtani's elbow injury might require surgery, and it would likely result in him not being able to pitch and only DH during the 2024 season. He had surgery on his right arm in 2018 and didn't pitch in 2019.
Pitching is the major weakness on the Red Sox roster. The lack of a true ace is glaring. Chris Sale, with his injury history, is no longer capable of being that kind of top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Boston has a top-five farm system, but few of its top-tier prospects are pitchers.
Signing Ohtani has its risks, especially if his ability to pitch decreases in the short term. The last thing the Red Sox need is another player who can only DH.
There are expected to be many potential suitors for Ohtani given his extraordinary talent and the buzz he brings to the ballpark each game. The Red Sox would be wise to join the pursuit, but they must weigh the risks carefully.