The Chicago Cubs already proved how committed they are to taking the next step in 2024 after forking over a historic contract to manager Craig Counsell. Those ambitions might be amplified if they legitimately target mega star Shohei Ohtani in MLB free agency.

Ownership has the resources and apparently the desire to sign the 2023 American League MVP. Wherever Ohtani lands this offseason, the ensuing results could be monumental. And that does not refer solely to the baseball side of things.

The 29-year-old native of Japan can instantly transform a franchise's economy, and possibly even that of a city. If the Cubs can successfully persuade Ohtani to abandon the West Coast, Chicago as a whole could possibly benefit. It would require an unprecedented investment, however.

“Ohtani would own Wrigley Field, literally,” one NL scout joked to ESPN's Jesse Rogers. “He'd own Chicago, for sure.”

After blasting 44 home runs and posting a .304 batting average as a designated hitter, and recording a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts as a pitcher last season, he is set to be the highest-paid MLB player of all-time. The Cubs were one of seven teams seriously vying for Shohei Ohtani when he first entered The Show in 2017, and they cannot be underestimated this time around, either.

Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman could each wind up elsewhere, which would clear more cap space for this earth-shattering deal. But who is to say that president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer would settle for one transcendent talent? Although there is so much uncertainty surrounding the Ohtani free agency saga, it is clear that the Cubs have big plans.