If the Dodgers were to sign Shohei Ohtani, they would be getting one of the best starting pitchers on the market. Ohtani is projected to be an elite starting pitcher in the majors due to his blazing fastball and wicked slider that are comparable to the stuff of Yu Darvish. Ohtani would shore up the number two spot in the rotation for cheap and help the Dodgers get under the luxury tax while still adding elite players.
While Ohtani would like to hit, it is unlikely that the Dodgers would let him play the outfield on days he doesn’t pitch. They may be able to give him a spot start here and there but to ask a starting pitcher to throw 200 innings and play some games in the outfield would be physically demanding. Ohtani would have more use as a pinch hitter off the bench while saving the other bench players to hit in more important stages of the game.
The downside to Ohtani is that he is an unknown in the major leagues and there is no telling how good he will be. He could become a Yu Darvish caliber starter or he could end up being a total bust. This is where Friedman and Zaidi must decide how much they want to invest in Ohtani. The other downside to Ohtani is the fact that he wants to hit. The side of Ohtani that is more likely to bust is his hitting. It’s easy to see he has the stuff to be a big league starter but the quality of pitching you see in the major leagues could cause Ohtani to struggle.
Ohtani would still help void the hole in the rotation that is caused by the likely departure of Yu Darvish. Ohtani would give the Dodgers a rotation of Kershaw, Ohtani, Hill, Wood, and Ryu, Maeda, or McCarthy. Not only would the Dodgers have great depth, they would also have five starting pitchers capable of winning on any day.