A new update on the upcoming Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is excellent news for the New York Mets’ chances of landing the two-way superstar this winter.
With the 2023 World Series in the rearview, every team in MLB has shifted their focus to the offseason and improving their rosters for 2024. Trades will certainly be a route for many organizations, but free agency will offer up many interesting options for franchises willing to spend. And there is no player that will get paid more — in North American sports history — soon than Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.
The MVP candidate is expected to score a deal that could be worth over half a billion dollars and possibly be for as long as a decade. The asking price will already be too high for the majority of teams in MLB, but at 29 years old a 10-year deal will turn away just as many after the Japanese star underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time this year.
New York Mets record (2023): 75-87
However, an interesting update on Monday may change the thinking of how some teams approach the Ohtani market this month. According to ESPN MLB reporter Alden Gonzalez, “People familiar with Ohtani’s thinking believe he might be open to a short-term deal with an exceedingly high average annual value, a circumstance that would open up a host of suitors this offseason.”
That is certainly an interesting development for the New York Mets because the current record for the most annual value ever given out was set by the franchise when they gave pitcher Max Scherzer a deal that paid him $43.3 million for 2022. They then followed that up by giving future Hall-of-Famer Justin Verlander a matching deal for this past season.
While all indications are the Mets will be a bit more conservative in their spending this offseason, Shohei Ohtani is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Obviously, he will improve the roster, but the combo of the best player in the sport playing in New York would certainly be a massive revenue boost for the team off the field and around the world.
Owner Steve Cohen has shown he is not afraid to throw around some wild contracts, and it should never be ruled out he could do it again for the most famous baseball player on Earth.