The Boston Red Sox are expected to make some notable changes this offseason after finally appointing new leadership in the front office. After a few down years, Boston will likely make a splash or two to jumpstart the retooling process. Could that include adding the best player on the planet?
The New York Post’s Jon Heyman created odds for the upcoming Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes based on what he’s hearing and gave the Red Sox a real dog in the fight.
“The New Balance link has folks speculating Boston,” Heyman wrote Thursday. “He certainly seems to like playing there, and they can’t like finishing the last three of the last four years. Odds: 10-1.”
Heyman expects Ohtani to still be able to seek a contract in the $500 million range and has heard rumors that a deal in the range of $600 million is not out of the question. That would be a hefty price but Ohtani would likely be worth it.
Ohtani hit .304 with 78 extra-base hits including 44 home runs, 95 RBIs and a 1.066 OPS in 135 games this season. On the mound, he posted a 10-5 record with a 3.14 ERA, 167-to-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio, .184 batting average against and a 1.061 WHIP in 132 innings across 23 starts.
The Red Sox will need to prioritize adding some frontline starters to the mix, which will hurt their odds of bringing in the Japanese superstar after he sustained an elbow injury that will keep him off the rubber for 2024.
However, there could be a world where Boston adds Ohtani and then aims for second-tier options like old friend Eduardo Rodriguez and Minnesota Twins impending free-agent Sonny Gray to bolster the rotation.
For Ohtani to land in Boston, it would take a strong push from ownership to increase their marketability after a few down years. It will depend on how desperate that group becomes after another last-place finish in the budding American League East.