The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes have been underway for nearly two weeks now, and to this point there has been little movement on that front. Multiple teams want in on the bidding, including the Seattle Mariners. But there's an increasing belief that it's not in the cards, according to Daniel Kramer of MLB.com.
“The industry belief is that the Dodgers remain the frontrunner, the Mets could be the most aggressive in their financial offer, along with the Giants, and the Rangers could be emboldened by their World Series title to keep adding. The Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees — big-market teams looking for a rebound — are also reportedly in the mix,” Kramer reported.
“Other than that, it’s been mostly crickets on the two-way superstar. Perhaps that's by design given Ohtani's veiled nature, but at least in Seattle, the quietude is reflective of what’s taking place behind the scenes. Industry sources told MLB.com this week that landing Ohtani doesn’t appear to be within the Mariners’ realistic agenda this offseason.”
The Mariners aren't going to be considered a top landing destination, but they are a young and exciting team with a bright future.
Ohtani could follow in another Japanese legend's footsteps, Ichiro Suzuki, by joining the Mariners. Ichiro was beloved by the Seattle fanbase despite the Mariners' struggles during his time with the team.
Ohtani, however, would be signing with a Mariners ball club that is much more likely to contend. Seattle snapped their playoff drought in 2022 and narrowly missed the postseason in 2023. Shohei would join emerging star Julio Rodriguez and immediately make the Mariners a title contender.
While the Dodgers are believed to be the front-runner, there is a twist. A report has Los Angeles not only trying to sign Ohtani, but to acquire Mike Trout via trade from the Los Angeles Angels as well.
Sit tight and wait for the fireworks to begin.