The biggest storyline of the MLB offseason is the bidding war for generational two-way superstar, Shohei Ohtani. Expected to be in the center of that bidding war is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have long been considered by many to be the favorites to give Ohtani a record-breaking contract.
As Dodgers fans have painfully learned in the past, being connected to a superstar in the rumor mill doesn't guarantee anything. Fans are still licking their wounds over Bryce Harper, who did more at the plate in the 2023 playoffs than the entire Dodgers offense did.
This time it feels different, though. Ohtani wants to win, specifically preferred the West Coast when he first came into the league, and has garnered interest from the Dodgers in the past. If the universal DH existed when Ohtani made the leap, then he might have been a Dodger all along.
Andrew Friedman has seemingly been preparing for this, as the team almost exclusively signed players to one-year deals last offseason. It doesn't stop there, though, as the Dodgers have made a sneaky hire that might be the most telling move of all (h/t Jorge Castillo and Jack Harris, L.A. Times).
"Lorenzo Sciarrino was rejoining the organization as senior vice president for global partnerships. Sciarrino, who previously spent 12 years with the Dodgers, was hired away from WME Sports to head the franchise’s 'global sponsorship department, supervising and engineering franchise partnerships with businesses domestically and internationally.'
It is not a coincidence the Dodgers made this move two days before Shohei Ohtani officially became a free agent and before Yoshinobu Yamamoto posts to join a Major League Baseball team in the coming weeks."
Dodgers add more fuel to Shohei Ohtani speculation by hiring Lorenzo Sciarrino
This is not a new position in the Dodgers front office, but the timing of this hire right before the biggest international superstar in the history of the sport hits free agency is definitely not by chance. If there was ever a time to hire someone new to pilot the team in this regard, it's now.
On top of being a generational talent, Ohtani is a marketing machine, and the Dodgers have always been a team that capitalizes on marketing (does anyone else miss the Fly Emirates foul poles?). ESPN's Alden Gonzalez reported that Shohei alone was bringing the Angels $10 million in annual revenue. Just imagine how much larger that could be with the Dodgers.
This is not a secret and is certainly something the Dodgers would look to capitalize on if Ohtani was signed. It could also be a selling point to Ohtani himself. In addition to (likely) becoming the highest-paid MLB player of all time, the Dodgers could open new doors for advertisers to directly work with Ohtani.
There aren't many other big-market teams that can give Ohtani that promise, with the other most prominent franchise playing on the opposite coast in the Bronx (and they have their own issues to sort out in the time being).
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