Report: Red Sox are a ‘real threat’ to sign Shohei Ohtani originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox are a “real threat” to sign Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post. One unnamed executive with an interested team reportedly believes the Red Sox will be in the Ohtani sweepstakes this winter.
Excelling in both batting and pitching, the 29-year-old phenom is set to hit free agency as his one year, $30 million dollar contract with the Angels expires. As the offseason approaches, Ohtani is starting to be linked “more and more” with Boston, Heyman reports.
One of said links comes in the form of one of his major endorsements — New Balance. After ending his contract with Asics, Ohtani signed a long-term deal with New Balance at the end of January. How does this connect to Boston? New Balance built a $500 million state-of-the-art campus in Boston back in 2015, a mere 5.6 miles away from Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have had three last place finishes in the past four years. Simply put, the fans are not happy. The Red Sox have lost several of their top players to trades or free agency in recent years. After the recent firing of Chaim Bloom, signing a player like Ohtani could start to mend fences between the team and its fans, especially after they let players like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts get away.
Ohtani burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2018, hitting .285 with 93 hits and 22 home runs along with 61 RBIs as a hitter. He was also pitched incredibly well with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 10 games appearances, allowing only 38 hits.
Now in his sixth season, Ohtani has only improved on those numbers. He batted a career-best .304 with 44 home runs — tenth best and fourth best in the MLB, respectively. As a pitcher, Ohtani earned a 3.14 ERA with 167 strikeouts.
Unfortunately, at the end of August, Ohtani tore the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his elbow. He is unlikely to pitch until 2025, leaving him as a designated hitter for the foreseeable future.
Even with the injury, Ohtani will likely get a record-high contract. Whoever wants to sign him needs to be ready to spend a lot of money, which is something the Red Sox were not known for under Bloom. Ohtani will officially become a free agent the day after the World Series concludes, with the option to sign with a new team just five days after that. Sit tight, Red Sox fans, it’s going to be a long fall.