If Shohei Ohtani moves to the Dodgers, the total amount will exceed 75 billion yen…? Merits and Demerits” of moving to the Dodgers, the most promising team. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

If Shohei Ohtani moves to the Dodgers, the total amount will exceed 75 billion yen…? Merits and Demerits” of moving to the Dodgers, the most promising team.

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All eyes are on the U.S! How will the “75 billion yen” battle unfold?

Otani is ranked No. 1 on the Major League Baseball’s list of the hottest FA players this season, with the Orix’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25) in second place, and Japanese players are making great strides (PHOTO: AFLO)

While the Hanshin Tigers’ first Japanese championship in 38 years has the world on tenterhooks, the battle for the man in question is heating up across the ocean.

Shohei Ohtani, 29, spent five days from November 2 (Japan time) to November 7 in exclusive negotiations with his team, the Angels. However, they were unable to reach an agreement by the deadline.

With that, all 30 teams in the majors have obtained the right to negotiate with Otani. Ten teams with abundant financial resources, such as the Mets and Giants, are keenly interested. The Dodgers, based in Los Angeles, the same city as the Angels, are considered to be the most promising of all. It is expected to be a very large contract with a total value of more than 75 billion yen.

The Dodgers, who have hosted Japan’s top pitchers in the past, including Hideo Nomo (55), Kenta Maeda (35), and Yu Darvish (37), have saved a total of approximately $50 million by releasing Noah Syndergaard (31), a right-handed pitcher paid $13 million a year, in the middle of this season, The most powerful two-sport baseball player in the history of the game, Otani, has been a member of the Kadena Kaike team.

The addition of the greatest two-sport athlete of all time would be a tremendous boost to the Dodgers, but what would be the benefit to Otani himself? Sportswriter Nachi Tomonari explains.

The Dodgers are a powerhouse team that always makes the postseason every year, so they are the perfect team for Ohtani to achieve his goal of becoming the best in the world. They also have MVP-level stars such as Mookie Betts (31) and Freddie Freeman (34), and their depth in the batting lineup and defense are far superior to the Angels’.

Ohtani is expected to play only as a hitter next season, but with this lineup, he should be less likely to avoid the game by declaring respect. Also, the doctor who performed Otani’s right elbow surgery is the team doctor, so we can rest assured that he will take good care of Otani’s body.

It sounds like all good things for Ohtani, but there are some unexpected pitfalls.

“There are concerns about how he will be used as a pitcher scheduled to return after ’25. The relay team is strong and there is less concern about them breaking up games, but if Clayton Kershaw (35) and Walker Buehler (29), who are out of the lineup, return, Otani will be the second or third man in the starting rotation.

By being removed from his absolute position, it is conceivable that his pitching intervals may become irregular or that he may be removed from the starting lineup and sent to a relieving role, depending on his condition. In addition, if Ohtani were to compete in a two-man rotation, a six-man rotation would need to be formed to reduce the burden.

In the majors, a five-man rotation is basically a four-day pitching schedule, so there is no denying the possibility of opposition from Cy Young Award-winning pitchers such as Buehrle, who would like to get more innings pitched. But in general, the advantages are probably greater,” said Tomonari.

The day may come when we will see Ohtani change his uniform from red to blue, and push forward on the path to his dream of becoming the world’s No. 1 pitcher.

From the November 24, 2023 issue of FRIDAY


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