The Boston Red Sox have emerged as the favorite to sign free agent Shohei Ohtani.
According to John Heyman of the New York Post, “Boston has emerged as the favorite to land Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, who is set to become a free agent in the offseason”. The Japanese media is also picking up on the news.
According to Heyman, Ohtani has signed a big contract with Boston-based company New Balance. For the past eight years, Ohtani has been sponsored by Japanese sportswear brand Asics.
He was sponsored by Asics from 2014 through the 2022 season. Asics provided him with spikes, gloves, and more. From the 2023 season, however, he will be sponsored by American brand New Balance. New Balance is headquartered in Boston.
And Boston needs a change. Until this year, they were at the bottom of the American League East for two consecutive seasons.
They have no choice but to focus their attention on Ohtani. On top of that, the Red Sox have been criticized by fans for trading one of the best outfielders in the majors, Mookie Betts, to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade.
Betts was a star in Boston. After being drafted by the Red Sox in the fifth round, 172nd overall, in the 2011 draft, Betts made his debut in 2014. He played for six years until 2019, winning the American League MVP in 2018 after batting .346 with 32 homers, 80 RBIs, 30 doubles, and a 1.078 OPS, helping the team win the World Series.
Then came the Dodgers. Betts was one season away from free agency, and Boston reportedly offered him 10 years and $300 million. However, the deal fell through when Betts demanded 12 years and $420 million. Betts signed a 12-year, $365 million extension after being traded.
Japanese media outlet Nikkan Sports reported, “Fans have been criticizing the Dodgers since they sent Betts to the Angels in February 2020. Signing Ohtani will quiet them down.”
“Boston, as well as the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, are in the race for Ohtani,” the outlet noted.
Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts this year as a pitcher, while batting .340 with 44 home runs and 95 RBIs in 135 games.온라인바카라
Elbow surgery and a side injury sidelined both pitcher and hitter for the season. Still, he was a 10-win pitcher for the second straight season and finished second in the American League in home runs this year.
He is expected to return to the mound in 2024 as a hitter, and then again in 2025. If the Red Sox can get their hands on Ohtani, can they silence their fans?