The past few months have represented either the screws tightening on the Dodgers in the Shohei Ohtani free agency chase or the rest of Major League Baseball trying to tighten the screws to infuse a foregone conclusion with more intrigue.
The Padres have the money, but does Ohtani have the interest? The Mets have a new head of the regime eyeing contention in 2025, which didn't fit Ohtani's timeline, but now ... kind of does, considering he won't be pitching in 2024? Commissioner Rob Manfred would probably like Ohtani to choose the New York Yankees, but he can't choose 'em if they choose not to compete. Some MLB insiders, like FanSided's Robert Murray, view the Texas Rangers as a dark horse to pony up the necessary coin.
Does anyone in that motley crew really strike you as a viable Dodgers alternative, though? Or is the gossip mill just delaying the inevitable rather than turning over new leaves?
Well ... then there's Boston, which seems to have emerged as the most viable alternative yet to LA's presumptive throne. First, longtime plugged-in source Peter Gammons appeared out of the mist to suggest that Ohtani's close ties to New Balance CEO Jim Davis has him "interested" in Boston. Gammons claims an "NL executive familiar with [Ohtani]" believes this to be legitimate (Andrew Friedman?).
2013 Red Sox champion Will Middlebrooks brought new light to the topic on his "Wake and Rake" podcast last week, too, desperately fighting his own tongue to keep what appeared to be exciting Bostonian information under wraps. What Middlebrooks did wrestle out was an admission that the Red Sox front office is certainly going to attempt to pull together a serious Ohtani offer, though he later admitted the MVP's landing spot will be dictated by what he's interested in, not who's most interested in him.
Dodgers Rumors: LA to battle Red Sox for Shohei Ohtani?
But, wait, didn't Gammons' NL exec say Ohtani's interested in Boston? Doesn't that sound mutual? Has anyone checked in on New Balance CEO Jim Davis?!
We won't learn until December at the earliest whether the Red Sox were able to rustle up a competitive package or whether Ohtani's interest was more than cursory. But as we approach the offseason, the Dodgers should probably start to regard Boston a little more seriously in their calculus.