Are the Los Angeles Dodgers about to become the second victim of the "Favorite for Shohei Ohtani" Curse?
The Yankees were first, back in 2017. Every article painted New York as the clear front-runner. After a surprise ALCS berth, Brian Cashman reportedly planned his entire offseason around securing Ohtani. Then, in a flash, the Japanese superstar informed the Yankees that he didn't even have any interest in meeting them, let alone signing with them.
The same is reportedly true now, per SNY's Andy Martino. Ohtani still has next to no interest in coming to New York, ruling the Yankees and Mets out of the chase. That's good news. Eliminating teams feels good. Rumors from earlier this week that the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox are out may still be largely unsubstantiated, but that doesn't mean it doesn't feel nice to read them.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the unsubstantiated scuttlebutt has not been very kind to them this week, either. According to Martino's piece, there are "semi-informed gossip" chunks that paint a rosier picture for the Dodgers' rivals in this particular chase. Word on the street is the mercurial superstar might be opting for a team other than LA.
MLB Rumors: Shohei Ohtani leaning away from Dodgers?
That would send the Dodgers all in on a Yoshinobu Yamamoto tailspin, which should have Yankees, Mets and Red Sox fans hoping that this semi-informed gossip is entirely bunk. There's an outside chance the Dodgers could land both Japanese stars, but if their Ohtani budget is suddenly up for grabs, then it's -- quote -- over for y'all.
Last time around, the Dodgers had a relatively unpleasant experience with Ohtani, much like the Yankees. Luminaries like Clayton Kershaw left their meeting (at least they got one!) feeling misled and believing they had sat through a charade. Perhaps LA's leadership is in line for another rude awakening?
This time would sting far more thoroughly, considering just how many of the past 365+ days have been dedicated to mapping out Ohtani's future with the Dodgers. First, pitching was taken off the table for 2024 (and potentially beyond?). Now, things have only gotten more serious, with the hopes of fans in Chicago, Toronto, and San Francisco peaking. Hopefully, Martino's circles are a little less than semi-informed, and no real word has leaked from Ohtani's camp just yet.