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The Mets are one of the top potential landing spots for Ohtani, along with teams like the Dodgers — who many consider the favorite to get him — and Angels, Ohtani’s old squad. But New York makes a lot of sense, too.
The Mets, under owner Steve Cohen, are no stranger to blockbuster moves. And there could be no bigger blockbuster than signing the two-way superstar.
Ohtani picked the West Coast when he first came to the Major Leagues from Japan in 2018. Here’s why a move to the East Coast might be in store, now that he’s choosing a new team as the most hyped free agent ever.
1) Ohtani vs. Judge for the King of New York
If Ohtani comes to the Mets, baseball’s two biggest superstars would be in New York City. Ohtani on the Mets and Aaron Judge on the Yankees would make for one of the best rivalries baseball has seen in years — and the Subway Series could be bigger than it’s been since the 2000 World Series.
You’re talking about the last three AL MVPs, two players who’ve produced some of the most historic seasons in recent memory, both in the same city at their peak, playing for crosstown rivals. That’d just be fun to watch. And if the Mets and Yankees were both playoff contenders with Ohtani and Judge leading the way, the buzz would be incredible.
2) No one could ignite a turnaround like Ohtani
The Mets might’ve been the most disappointing team of 2023. They were supposed to be World Series contenders, coming off a 101-win season and making a big splash in free agency by adding Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga. And then they plummeted to 75 wins and a fourth-place finish in the NL East. They traded away every veteran they could, including Verlander and Max Scherzer, at the Trade Deadline. Everything went wrong. But who better to change the course of a franchise than the greatest player in the world?
Landing Ohtani would flip the Mets back from rebuilders to contenders instantly. Even with Ohtani only hitting in 2024, that’s still adding arguably the best hitter in the Majors to your lineup. Ohtani, who hit an AL-best 44 home runs last season to become MLB’s first Japanese home run king while also batting over .300 for the first time in his career, might have won the 2023 AL MVP Award even if he didn’t throw a single pitch.
And once he returns to the mound in 2025? Ohtani could be the Mets’ best hitter and their ace. Signing Ohtani to a long-term deal is the equivalent of adding an MVP-caliber free-agent hitter and a Cy Young-caliber free-agent pitcher, but on the same contract. Ohtani’s like Pete Alonso and Jacob deGrom … or Doc and Darryl … all at once.
3) The DH upgrade is massive
Ohtani’s bat would obviously be a major upgrade for any team that signs him. But a big bat at designated hitter is actually a big need for the Mets in particular. Currently, Mark Vientos is the only DH on New York’s depth chart. That’s a long way from Ohtani. And the position has been a weakness for the Mets ever since the arrival of the universal DH in 2022.
Over the last two seasons, the Mets are among the teams who’ve gotten the least production out of their DH spot: a .693 OPS from 2022-23, ranking in the bottom 10 in the Majors. Guess which team had the highest OPS from its DHs over the last two seasons? Of course it was the Angels, at .916, way ahead of the second-best Phillies and their .857 mark. That’s what Ohtani does for a lineup.
Some teams with a star slugger locked in at DH, like the Phillies with Kyle Schwarber or the Astros with Yordan Alvarez, would require some creative roster maneuvering to fit Ohtani into the lineup. Not so with the Mets. They’ve been searching for that kind of offense from the position that’s specifically designed to provide it. Ohtani can fix that.
4) Ohtani-Alonso-Lindor would be one of baseball’s top trios
Imagine a Mets lineup with Francisco Lindor, Ohtani and Alonso in the 2-3-4 spots day in and day out. Those are three true superstars, potentially hitting back-to-back-to-back, and would give the Mets one of the best hearts of the order in baseball.
Only a few other teams would have a trio to rival Ohtani, Lindor and Alonso:
Even beyond just the three marquee stars, Ohtani would give the Mets one of the deepest lineups in the Majors, once you add in players like leadoff man Brandon Nimmo and 2022 MLB batting champ Jeff McNeil, and especially if youngsters Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty keep getting better.
5) His return to pitching will come at the perfect time
The Mets are in the middle of a wave of top position player prospects ascending to the big leagues — Alvarez and Baty played their first full seasons in 2023, Ronny Mauricio debuted at the end of the season, new No. 1 prospect Luisangel Acuña (from the Scherzer deal) could be next in 2024, and No. 2 prospect Drew Gilbert (from the Verlander deal) after that.
But what New York will need to complement that wave of young hitters is the pitching to go with it. The Mets have Senga through 2027, but without deGrom, Scherzer and Verlander, they’ll need more frontline starters than just him if they want to reopen their window of contention. That’s where Ohtani comes in.
Ohtani and Senga are dominant enough to lead any MLB pitching staff. And for the Mets, that duo would anchor a rotation capable of supporting the deep lineup it looks like New York will have — a lineup Ohtani would also be a part of himself.
We update regularly World Latest Breaking Business News here. We update 2023-11-18 08:35:19 this news story from official website – https://www.mlb.com/news/why-mets-should-sign-shohei-ohtani.”
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