3 reasons why the Mets will sign Shohei Ohtani next offseason

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The New York Mets front office has been on fire this offseason thus far with the amount of talent they have brought in to compete for a 2023 World Series title. While the sole focus is currently on this year's current team and how the team can continue making improvements this winter, it's hard to ignore the elephant in the room.

Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next winter, and there are already mumblings around Major League Baseball that the Mets are going to make Ohtani a priority. With the way the Mets have spent money this offseason, it's hard not to see them in on any future star-free agents who hit the market if they fit a need the Mets have.

The Mets have positioned themselves to be favorites next winter to land Shohei Ohtani as a new era of spending has arrived in Queens

While we are well over a calendar year away from this scenario becoming a reality, it's a fun topic to talk about, and there are certainly a few reasons below why this potential fantasy of Mets fans is a very real possibility.

1. Shohei Ohtani's relationship with Mets General Manager Billy Eppler

If there were any other front office executive outside of the Los Angeles Angels organization that knows Shohei Ohtani well enough, it's current Mets GM Billy Eppler. While Eppler was the General Manager of the Angels from 2015-2020, arguably his biggest move in that position was signing Ohtani over from Japan in 2017.

Eppler had built a solid relationship with Ohtani in making him feel comfortable in terms of making the jump to Major League Baseball and winning him over to play for the Angels organization. Eppler had also scouted Ohtani for about four years prior to him deciding to take his talents overseas, so there is a level of familiarity and comfort for both parties.

2. The Mets will have money to spend next offseason

I should probably start by saying as long as Steve Cohen owns the Mets there will always be money to spend on talent, as he is the richest owner in baseball by a landslide, and he certainly has flexed his financial muscle since taking over the team. When looking at some money coming off the books for the Mets next offseason, the organization will finally be off the hook with Robinson Cano's contract as $24 million will be coming off of the payroll from his deal alone.

The Mets will also hold an $11 million club option on Mark Canha, a $9 million club option on Eduardo Escobar, a $6.5 million club option on Brooks Raley, and a $3.5 million club option on Darin Ruf. Max Scherzer also holds a $43 million player option which he could exercise or could opt out of and become a free agent next offseason. One way or the other there will be plenty of extra funds for Eppler to spend to bring Ohtani to Queens. 

3. The Mets can shore up two positions with one signing

Lastly, it doesn't go without saying that when you sign a two-way star like Shohei Ohtani you are killing two birds with one stone. The Mets will not only be signing one of the most talented starting pitchers in all of baseball but they also would be signing one of the best hitters in all of baseball as well.

While Ohtani would take the mound for the Mets every fifth day, on the days that he is not pitching he would become the Mets' full-time designated hitter. The Mets largely struggled with finding a consistent option at designated hitter in 2022 and while the jury is still out on the production for 2023, Ohtani would solidify the position for seasons to come. 

I'm sure I could come up with 450 million reasons why Shohei Ohtani would be a good fit for the Mets next offseason, but let's keep it simple this offseason with just three, and then possibly revisit those other 447 million potential reasons next winter.

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