The free agency of Shohei Ohtani is unprecedented in baseball history. By no intention earlier than has a player of his trim skill role — every as a hitter and a pitcher — and confirmed song document been on the commence market be pleased Ohtani is now.
There are clearly a more than a couple of of groups that may perchance be within the mix to land baseball’s finest superstar, who may perchance completely ink the finest contract within the history of genuine sports activities. The Dodgers, Mets and Angels are rumored to be amongst them, as are the Blue Jays, Giants, Red Sox and Yankees.
Nonetheless one club, namely, may perchance produce a seismic aggressive shift by signing the two-intention sensation on the heels of a surprising 2023 campaign.
Listed below are five the reason why the Cubs — who had been amongst the finalists to signal Ohtani when he first arrived within the Majors six years within the past — would be a appropriate model match for the superstar, and vice versa.
1. Chicago true got practical Counsell
In pushing apart David Ross and hiring Craig Counsell as supervisor, the Cubs skittish the baseball world. They also demonstrated how serious they’re about returning to the good heights of 2016, when they received the franchise’s first World Sequence championship in bigger than a century.
Counsell’s managerial prowess, in particular in phrases of helming a pitching team from high to bottom as he showed in some unspecified time in the future of his nine seasons with the Brewers, bodes properly for the Cubs’ draw future, and for Ohtani’s assumed return to the mound in 2025. Chicago appears to tag off an 83-seventy nine season in 2023, one via which the Cubs had been within the postseason hunt as leisurely because the closing day of the frequent season. You don’t signal Counsell to the richest managerial contract in MLB history when you happen to are no longer serious about winning. And what better intention to signal you are serious than by subsequently signing Ohtani?
2. The Cubs are in plot to pork up right now and tremendously
Ohtani has made it determined his No. 1 priority is winning, and with the Cubs bringing in Counsell and boasting the game’s No. 4 farm intention per MLB Pipeline’s 2023 midseason rankings, Chicago is in high plot to construct a giant dash within the Nationwide League.
Whether via more free-agent signings to handle diversified holes on the roster or trades from their stacked Minor League ranks, the Cubs may perchance construct an Ohtani blockbuster the finest, nonetheless no longer by any intention the handiest, impression dash this offseason. Ohtani would be an especially vital upgrade for a Chicago employees that got a .731 OPS from the DH slot in 2023, which ranked twentieth in MLB. (The Angels, thanks to Ohtani, ranked first in that class.)
3. The Wrigley rooftops beckon
There’s true something relating to basically the most “must-survey” player within the game playing his home games in one among basically the most iconic ballparks within the Majors. Shohei Ohtani and Wrigley Discipline surely match that criteria.
It will probably also be poetic for Ohtani to frequently step into the same batter’s field that the story he has so in overall been as compared with, Babe Ruth, did when Ruth hit one among basically the most notorious home runs in baseball history in some unspecified time in the future of the 1932 World Sequence. And Ohtani donning the classic Cubs home pinstripes would be relatively a spy alongside the same traces.
He’d have some intriguing targets for his huge home runs as properly: the notorious Wrigleyville rooftops all the intention in which via Sheffield Avenue previous the pleasing-discipline wall. The handiest player identified to have reached the rooftops with a homer is Glenallen Hill, who hit a monstrous shot onto one among them previous Waveland Avenue within the assist of the left discipline bleachers in 2000.
Nonetheless nobody has hit one onto the rooftops out on Sheffield Ave. With about a of the baseballs Ohtani has hit to this point in his notorious career, he’d be a serious candidate to be the first.
4. A friendly face at the ‘Pleasant Confines’
Ohtani’s friend and countryman, Seiya Suzuki, has now been with the Cubs for 2 seasons after nine with the Hiroshima Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball. The 2 of direction performed in opposition to every diversified when Ohtani was playing for NPB’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham-Warring parties.
When the Cubs visited Anaheim for a series with the Angels closing June, the two playfully hinted at Ohtani’s impending free agency. Suzuki mimicked the motion of reeling in a fish, a gesture directed toward Ohtani because the two had been warming up sooner than one among the games.
Will the Cubs reel in Ohtani? In the occasion that they attain, he’ll have a friendly face when he arrives in metropolis.
5. The stage is role
Chicago would offer a correct environment for Ohtani to showcase his otherworldly wares. (One other relatively minor, though surely no longer insignificant, perk of playing in Chicago? He may perchance delight in some good walks with his adorable dog in Lakeshore Park.)
It is a long way the metropolis, regardless of all the pieces, where basically the most notorious athlete of his period — Michael Jordan — spent the bulk of his legendary basketball career. Ohtani may perchance apply suit, the handiest of the handiest playing for a storied franchise with a window of opportunity to offer a employees that will at closing receive this once-in-a-lifetime talent playing into leisurely October.