Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Shohei Ohtani has been the talk of MLB free agency and was the main topic during this week’s General Managers Meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, even with executives not permitted to freely discuss him on the record.
The two-way star is widely expected to sign with a new team after spending the past six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. Most consider the Dodgers the favorite to sign Ohtani, but the Angels, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants are viewed as possibilities as well.
On top of their history as a perennial postseason contender, the Dodgers are thought to have an edge in the Ohtani sweepstakes due to also being located in Southern California, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post:
The great Shohei Ohtani continues to be a man of mystery with agent Nez Balelo said to be “off site” for the GM meetings and no teams admitting to meetings. But the consensus is the Dodgers remain the favorite because they cleared payroll space, they’re consistent winners and may hold a geographic advantage. Word is Ohtani loves Southern California.
Like much else with Ohtani’s personal life, it’s not readily known where he lives, but it’s believed the 29-year-old resides close to Angel Stadium in Orange County.
Signing with the Dodgers likely would require some adjustment on his part in order to avoid the stresses of Southern California traffic.
But while it’s believed Ohtani has an affinity for Southern California, he has also raved about the city of Seattle. He publicly shared some insight in response to fans attempting to woo Ohtani during the 2023 MLB All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park.
Shohei Ohtani wins 2023 Silver Slugger
Having already been voted the American League Outstanding Player as part of the Players Choice Awards, Ohtani additionally added a 2023 Silver Slugger Award to his collection of hardware.
Likely to follow is a second career AL MVP Award.
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