Are the Texas Rangers Really the Front Runners to Get Ohtani?
Currently, the Texas Rangers are the talk of the baseball universe having won the first World Series in team history. They had a huge parade last week through downtown Dallas. Rangers fans are over the moon and the baseball world has taken notice.
But, now that the season is officially in the books and a champion has been crowned, everyone is turning their attention to the off-season. Free agency is on the horizon. Teams have to set their 40 man roster. Lots of stuff going on. And the biggest talking point is where Shohei Ohtani will sign in the off-season.
Ohtani, widely regarded as the best player in the world, is a baseball unicorn. He pitches, he hits, man does things that baseball hasn't seen in over 100 years. He was signed by the Angels from Japan but for the first time in his career, he'll be able to test the free agent market. The big question now: Where will Ohtani sign?
Are the Texas Rangers Legitimate Contenders for Ohtani?
Ohtani has been connected to several franchises all year. The early front runner was the Los Angeles Dodgers. Other teams like the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs have been tossed around as possible destinations. But, now, a new team has allegedly entered the conversation: The Texas Rangers. According to an article on Sports Illustrated, the Rangers are one of the favorites to sign the superstar player.
MLB insider Jon Heyman says that the Rangers are on the short list of teams that Ohtani could sign with this offseason and even said that Texas kicked the tires on making a move for the superstar at the trade deadline. Also, remember that when Ohtani was originally coming to America, the Rangers were one of 7 teams fighting for his services. So, they've wanted him for a long time.
On the flip side of all this, the Rangers have shown that they're not afraid to spend money and to compete for titles. They've put big money down on players like Corey Seager. The went out and convinced manager Bruce Bochy to unretire. Adding ANOTHER AL MVP threat to their lineup just seems fitting.
Can Texas Afford Another Huge Contract?
This may be the biggest hurdle in all of this. Shohei is projected to get a $500 million plus contract this offseason. Clearly, the Rangers are not afraid to spend money. But, by signing Ohtani, that would push their payroll well into $300 million a year territory. Could they make some moves to lessen the financial burden? Of course.
So, we'll have to wait and see how it all plays out. But, according to all sources, the Rangers are in the hunt. Ohtani would certainly help the Rangers chances to repeat as World Champs.
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Gallery Credit: Gary McCoy