3 Shohei Ohtani backup plans Dodgers need to have ready after latest rumors

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail (in your search for pitching for the second straight offseason).
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Matt Chapman

Why is Yoshinobu Yamamoto not a more serious Dodgers target? Why is nobody talking about the Dodgers signing Matt Chapman? Wouldn't these free agents be the best way to spend the money they're both commanding?

Yamamoto is a $200+ million expenditure, and well worth the price if we're to judge the recent imports of Ohtani and Kodai Senga. He's entering his age-25 season and has absolutely steamrolled the competition in Japan. It's among the best long-term investments to make, given Yamamoto's age and experience (he turned pro at 18). This also gives the Dodgers the international marketing they likely desire, and it's the best Ohtani consolation prize possible.

As for Chapman, his bat has admittedly been underwhelming the last three seasons, but he's a Gold Glover and above-average hitter. Per FanGraphs, the "median" contract prediction is four years and $80 million, but he turned down a $100 million extension from Toronto, so perhaps he's looking for a bit more. Either way, does it matter? The Dodgers can spend, and in this hypothetical, Max Muncy shifts to DH for the next two seasons while Chapman's sterling defense takes over at the hot corner. You'd also have to assume Chapman's bat will improve surrounded by guys like Muncy, Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and James Outman.

The Dodgers have little excuse not to spend. They have only Betts and Freeman on guaranteed contracts after the 2025 season and their farm system, while still good, isn't going to be a never-ending pipeline of All-Star talent. Outman and Miller are tremendous building blocks, but we saw the rest of the pack struggle in varying ways.

Andrew Friedman needs to acquire known assets, and any of these three scenarios will make the Dodgers a feared opponent in 2024.