Is Ohtani really close to signing a contract

The U.S. media, including “USA Today,” reported in unison, “The Dodgers have even worked to leave Ohtani’s number 17 empty.” USA Today said, “The Dodgers called veteran bullpen Joe Kelly this week and asked if he could yield his number 17 to Ohtani.” Kelly is a top bullpen pitcher who signed a one-year contract worth 8 million U.S. dollars with the Dodgers last week. He has seen his skills decline as he enters his mid-30s, but during the four seasons (2019, 2020, 2021, 2023) with the Dodgers, he has recorded 126 games, eight wins, 88 holds, 115 ⅔ innings and an ERA of 3.42. He boasts a total of 762 holds in 12 big league seasons.

As a veteran pitcher, Kelly could have hurt his pride at the club’s request to give Ohtani his jersey number. However, Kelly reportedly told Dodgers officials that it was an honor to change Ohtani’s jersey number. Number 17 is Ohtani’s uniform number that he maintained since he first signed a Major League contract with the Los Angeles Angels in the winter of 2017. This shows how serious the Dodgers is about Ohtani’s contract. U.S. media outlets are also suggesting how confident the Dodgers will be preparing a uniform number.

“CBS Sports” also suggested that Ohtani has never expressed that much affection with his jersey number 17. The media reported, “Ohtani wore his jersey number 11 when he played for the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB), and played in a uniform with his jersey number 16 engraved on it at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held this spring.” 에볼루션 바카라사이트

At the WBC press conference in March, Ohtani said, “I don’t really care what number to put on my uniform. However, when I played for the Japanese national team, I always wore No. 16.” Even if the number is not such an important factor, the Dodgers are considered the only club that can afford Ohtani’s skyrocketing ransom. Currently, the Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Atlanta Braves are known to have jumped into the recruitment of Ohtani.

Ransom is widely expected to surpass 500 million dollars (about 654.3 billion won) expected before the opening of the FA. John Hayman, columnist for The New York Post, said, “Otani has already received bids from multiple clubs. It is well over 500 million dollars, and some people are wondering if the total amount will reach 600 million dollars.” The majority say that the Dodgers is the only team that can afford the huge amount of 600 million dollars.

In addition, the manager is also supporting the team. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attended the winter meeting on the 6th and said, “The team met with Ohtani in Los Angeles for two to three hours a few days ago. Ohtani is definitely our top priority.” Usually, the contact between the club and the FA tends to be kept confidential until the contract is announced, but it seems that the Dodgers did not hesitate to mention the meeting with the media because it is not a secret that they are very interested in Ohtani. He also gave a nuance that the Dodgers are ahead of the contract with Ohtani, stimulating other rival teams.

The Athletic, a U.S. sports media outlet, reported, “It is not known which team Otani will sign. His negotiation process is still shrouded in mystery. According to team officials considered as a candidate, agent Valero warned them that leaking details could adversely affect negotiations.” According to the report, Roberts was so immersed in the bid to recruit Ohtani that he made a mistake. However, Roberts said, “I think it will be revealed at some point. That’s why I didn’t want to lie about myself or about the club,” adding, “We respect Ohtani’s wishes. Details will not be made public.”

A ransom of nearly 600 million U.S. dollars is good, and it is not difficult to empty his jersey number, and the manager is already dreaming about being with Ohtani. The Dodgers is preparing special treatment that is worthy of Ohtani in many ways. Will this result in a real contract with the best player in the history of the Major League? If Ohtani joins hands with other teams, the Dodgers is constantly writing a scenario in which it feels awkward.

Ohtani played 135 games as a batter this year, batting .304 (151 for 497), OPS 1.066, 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, 102 runs, and started 23 games as a pitcher, maintaining his best performance in the Major League despite his injury with 10-5 losses, 132 innings, 167 strikeouts and a 3.14 ERA. He was the first Major League MVP to win two unanimous American League titles (2021, 2023), matching the $500-600 million contract theory. Although it is difficult to take the mound next season in the aftermath of elbow surgery, he is expected to write a contract that guarantees the highest amount ever, assuming a return to the mound in 2025.

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