MLB Rumors: "Many Believe" Shohei Ohtani Will Join NL West Team

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, there is a growing belief around the MLB that the Los Angeles Dodgers are gearing up for a pursuit of Shohei Ohtani in free agency after the 2023 season.

While the Angels have expressed their desire to keep Ohtani, rumors suggest that the Dodgers could make a bid for him worth at least $600 million, potentially setting a new record for the largest contract in North American professional sports.

Despite a relatively quiet offseason, the Dodgers have indicated that they may be planning a big move and have several key contracts coming off the books after the 2023 season, potentially freeing up enough payroll space to sign Ohtani without going over the competitive balance tax in 2024.

As the reigning AL MVP in 2021 and finishing as the runner-up in 2022, Ohtani's impressive track record as both a pitcher and hitter makes him perhaps the most coveted player in all of baseball.

As a hitter, he's slashed .267/.354/.532 in 566 games as a hitter and holds a 2.96 ERA with 443 strikeouts in 349.2 innings as a pitcher.

While the Angels' lack of recent success may factor into Ohtani's decision, ultimately, the choice will be up to him. Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports