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Shohei Ohtani Next Team Odds: Where Will Ohtani Play In 2024?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 8 mins

Shohei Ohtani Next Team Odds: Where Will Ohtani Play In 2024?

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Not only is Shohei Ohtani one of the top pitchers in MLB, he is one of the premier hitters in the game. He’s the Babe Ruth of the 21st Century. He is a near-lock to win his second AL MVP. And he's now a free agent.

The Angels went all-in at the trade deadline in an effort to earn a wild card spot. They were hoping a playoff berth would persuade Ohtani to resign with them. That strategy backfired spectacularly. 

Then the shocking news of a torn UCL that Ohtani suffered in late August. Ohtani underwent surgery in mid-September that ends his 2023 season (before the surgery announcement, Ohtani abruptly cleaned out his locker, sparking tons of speculation about his future). 

Ohtani is expected to be ready to use at bat for Opening Day 2024, but won't pitch until '25.  The injury obviously puts a cloud over Ohtani's impending free agency. Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has updated the next team MLB odds for which team signs Ohtani this offseason. 

Shohei Ohtani 2024 Team Odds

TeamOddsImplied Probability
Los Angeles Dodgers+15040.0%
Toronto Blue Jays+32523.5%
San Francisco Giants+35022.2%
Los Angeles Angels+50016.7%
Chicago Cubs+75011.8%
The Field+25003.9%

This hypothetical MLB betting market is for entertainment purposes only and does not reflect any market that may be available on betting sites and betting apps.

Before Ohtani's arm injury, there were beliefs the pitcher/outfielder could surpass $50 million annually in free agency, and $500 million in overall contract value. Some experts believe that's where the bidding would start, and could end closer to $600 million. Either way, he was expected to crush the all-time richest contract in history, currently held by teammate Trout (12 years, $426.5M). 

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Potential Landing Spots For Ohtani

We'll start with the Angels. Los Angeles already has two players making major money. Mike Trout is locked up through 2030 at a rate of $37.1 million per year. And lest we forget, the oft-injured Anthony Rendon, who hasn't played more than 58 games in any of his three full seasons in L.A., is tied up through 2026 at a rate of $38.5 million per year. 

Rendon and Trout rank third and fourth in MLB, respectively, in annual base salary. Can the Angels really afford three of the top five? Probably not. Let's be frank. Only the biggest of the big boys can apply. This could be the biggest free agency bidding war ever. Most teams are out before it begins.

Ohtani, it appears from many angles, is ready for a fresh start. He may be one of the more transcendent starts of the last century, but he yas yet to play in a postseason game. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had interest in Ohtani since his days in Japan and have loads of talent they could move. When it comes to committed payroll for 2024, the Dodgers rank just 16th. That's because they've been gearing up for a run at Shohei, and even league players believe that's where he will end up. 

When it comes to winning, the Dodgers do a lot of it. When it comes to money, the Dodgers have a lot of it. It also wouldn't require much of a move at all, and it takes him to a perennial contender and a global brand that fans in Japan strongly recognize. There are enough reasons to push the Dodgers past the competition and make them favorites to land the superstar. 

Rumors are rumors, but the latest ones have indicated Ohtani isn't as enamored with geographic location as some may suggest. That opens the doors for non-West Coast teams to believe they're legitimately in the mix. 

The Chicago Cubs have ascended into legit contender status after reports emerged that Shohei has the northsiders on his short list. Certainly Chicago has the funds to make a move, but do they win enough for Ohtani to consider moving to the Midwest? They haven't sniffed the playoffs since 2020 and haven't gotten past the Wild Card round since 2017.

That said, they did hire Craig Counsell away from the rival Brewers, considered one of the top managers in the game, so perhaps the beginning of a new era. Chicago has been mentioned as one of five "finalists" in some reports. 

The San Francisco Giants went all-in on Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa last offseason, though each player ultimately ended up back with their old teams. 

The team offered Judge $40 million annually for nine seasons, showing a willingness to spend big on getting a star to the Bay Area. Its West Coast geography and strong Asian-American community could be a draw, though L.A. also offers both of those things. The Giants' Oracle Park is known for being tough on left-handed sluggers (Barry Bonds obviously being an exception), which could be a deterrent. 

The Toronto Blue Jays don't have a limitless budget, but insiders believe they're an "all-in" team with their stars locked up for just two more seasons. Toronto is a team that's been mentioned often, but would Ohtani go there? 

Sources say Toronto brass met with Ohtani, cementing their status as a contender.  

The New York Mets and New York Yankees ranked 1 and 2 in payroll in 2023. It didn't work out for either, as both teams missed out on the playoffs. 

Both teams have the money, but do they have the will? The Yankees already have three players making at least $32 million this season. Like the Mets and Cubs, calling the pinstripes "contenders" is a mini-reach. 

The Mets' payroll is already at $253 million for 2024, and some indications are that New York is going to rebuild with the intent of becoming a contender again in 2025 or '26 after a disastrous 2023 season. 

Then there's word that Ohtani himself didn't see himself as a fit for the Big Apple in general. Still, the Yankees will spend. They can afford any contract and has the perfect power-lefty-hitter-friendly stadium that Shohei can thrive in. Securing Ohtani makes the Yankees "The Team," something they really haven't been since Derek Jeter retired. They haven't been to a World Series since 2009.

The Field is led by teams that have shown the ability to spend massive, but this sounds too rich for their blood or their spots reserved for the ultra-wealthy are already filled. That includes the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. The San Diego Padres are planning to cut payroll, not add the most-expensive deal in history. Enough slicing could put them in Shohei contention, but if remains to be seen if it's realisitic. 

Ohtani spent last off-season in Seattle, perhaps giving the promise-filled Seattle Mariners a shot to go very big if they so choose. If Ohtani seeks a prove-it deal of 1-2 seasons, that could give teams like the Mariners incentive to go bigger than they've ever gone. He's also spent the last two off-seasons in Seattle and has talked fondly of the city and its fans. 

Shohei Ohtani Free Agent Contract Odds

Years/MoneyOddsImplied Probability
10 yrs, $500M+30025.0%
12 yrs, $600M+40020.0%
1 yr, $50M+50016.7%
2 yr, $100M+60014.3%
11 yrs, $550M+75011.8%
11 yrs, $600M+10009.1%
10 yrs, $600M+12007.7%
The Field+55015.4%

This hypothetical market is for entertainment purposes only and is independent of any other odds available.

The wildest free agency tour in the history of pro sports is set to begin. How much will Shohei Ohtani actually get? 

Prior to the UCL injury that could require a second Tommy John surgery, the consensus was that it would be the largest contract in baseball history and the third-largest deal in the history of sports, behind contracts signed by soccer legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The current MLB all-timer is held by Angels teammate Mike Trout, who inked a 12-year, $426.5 million extension in 2019. Ohtani could command more than that on a deal that lasts four years shorter. 

The sports contracts website Spotrac created valuations for Ohtani separately for pitching and hitting. For pitching: eight years, $230 million ($28.8M); for hitting: 10 years, $333 million ($33.3M). That’s over $55 million annually for eight seasons, and then some after that. 

But now that he won't pitch in 2024, what does it mean? Analysts are wildly split on the matter. Some believe the pitching issue won't be much of a deterrent. His bat alone may be worth more than what Trout received. 

It's also possible he signs a "prove it" deal to be a hitter-only for one or two seasons before jumping back into the free agency pool. The unpredictability of the biggest free agent in baseball history is going to get wild. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.