Even though analysts and insiders don't think the pursuit of Shohei Ohtani will be drastically affected by his elbow injury that may require Tommy John surgery and knock him out until 2025, the reality is that the Los Angeles Dodgers have now seen their plans for 2024 and 2025 completely upended.
If their intention was to throw whatever amount of money it took to bring in Ohtani under the assumption he'd remain a dominant star for the next 3-4 years before regression/injuries started to hamper his performance, then the short-term World Series window the front office envisioned has very much been compromised.
But this is still a World Series contending roster, even with the amount of Dodgers expected to hit free agency this offseason. This team doesn't need Ohtani, but it definitely needs support in the form of what Ohtani would've been able to offer as an ace and lefty slugger.
Whether the Dodgers sign Ohtani or not, at least three other blockbuster-esque moves can be pursued to improve their 2024-2025 fortunes. But we've identified five in total, with a couple reserved for the possibility of Ohtani no longer being in LA's plans.
5 offseason pivots Dodgers can make after Shohei Ohtani injury
Trade for Juan Soto
This one's first because it's the least likely. The Padres probably won't even dare to trade Soto to their division rival ... but what if the Dodgers offer the best prospect package to help San Diego replenish its farm system after they whiffed at capitalizing at the trade deadline? Plus, Soto is a free agent after 2024, so there's no guarantee he remains in LA long-term.
This impact move would give the Dodgers a true starting outfield of Soto, James Outman and Mookie Betts (and they can stop platooning left field). Soto's powerful left-handed bat checks another box, and the fact that he's an on-base machine is a dream for the rest of the run producers in LA's lineup.
Bottom line? Never rule anything out until it's officially no longer a possibility.