Report: Blue Jays join mix of teams interested in Ohtani
The market for Shohei Ohtani gained another suitor.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays are chasing baseball's biggest star, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
While the Dodgers and Rangers have already been linked to the 29-year-old free agent this winter, the Blue Jays' interest appears to be new and adds intrigue to the offseason race to sign Ohtani, who's expected to secure a multi-year deal in the $500-million range.
The Blue Jays need a designated hitter as Brandon Belt is now a free agent, and Ohtani would certainly help improve a Toronto offense that finished 14th in runs scored and 16th in home runs last season.
Ohtani might be the biggest free-agent prize in sports history after winning the second unanimous AL MVP of his six-year big-league career. In 135 games with the Los Angeles Angels this past season, he slashed .304/.412/.654 with a league-leading 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and 20 steals.
Ohtani also posted a 10-5 record alongside a 3.14 ERA and 11.4 K/9 in 23 starts as a pitcher. He won't pitch next season due to offseason elbow surgery but should be ready to play without restrictions as a designated hitter.
Toronto is coming off a disappointing finish to its 2023 campaign, being swept in the two-game wild-card series by the Minnesota Twins after winning 89 games during the regular season.
The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are two other teams showing interest in Ohtani, according to offseason rumors.