Shohei Ohtani appears to be on his way to becoming a consensus and perhaps unanimous run-away winner of the American League Most Valuable Player Award for the second time in his career. The dynamic two-way performer appears to be the most unique talent in Major League Baseball's history, and speculation on the next phase of his career has been rampant.
Ohtani has certainly been a breathtaking player for the Los Angeles Angels, but he has not come close to getting a chance to play in the postseason. He will be a free agent at the end of the season, and speculation is increasing that the Los Angeles Dodgers may have the best chance of signing Ohtani to his next contract.
The pitcher/slugger is playing everything close to the vest, saying his focus remains on the current season. “I want to concentrate on the season,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “I’m leaving it up to my agent [Nez Balelo], and me personally, I want to concentrate on the season.”
While nothing is official, Ohtani has said that he prefers a warm-weather climate and he also admires the talent the Dodgers are able to put on the field on an every-night basis. Most importantly, the Dodgers have the wherewithal to give Ohtani a record-setting contract.
His next deal could be for $500 million or more.
Shohei Ohtani was interested in signing with the Dodgers when he was a star high school player in Japan. At the time, the National League did not have the designated hitter rule that would have allowed him to pitch and hit, so he signed with the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japanese League.