The Los Angeles Dodgers’ trade deadline acquisitions have been promising, but overall, the team had a rather underwhelming deadline. While they secured infield depth and pitching help, they didn’t make a big splash like other teams landing players such as Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, or Nolan Arenado.
However, the grand prize of this year’s free agency is none other than Shohei Ohtani, the two-way superstar of the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and there’s no doubt that many teams, including the Dodgers, will be vying for his services. Big-market, high-spending teams are likely to have a legitimate chance at landing him.
One of the potential contenders, the New York Mets, may have taken themselves out of the Ohtani chase, as indicated by former Mets pitcher Max Scherzer after his trade to the Texas Rangers. Scherzer has a full no-trade clause in his contract, and he approached the Mets’ front office to understand the direction they plan to take the franchise.
Based on Scherzer’s observations, it appears that the Mets are entering a rebuilding phase. With a 2023 payroll exceeding $344 million, according to Spotrac, they currently lead all MLB teams by a significant margin in terms of spending.
While the Mets were once considered strong contenders for Ohtani’s signature with their willingness to spend money and a roster that seemed promising on paper, their disastrous season led to them falling out of playoff contention. Consequently, they decided to trade away players like Verlander, Scherzer, Tommy Pham, and Mark Canha, suggesting that they might not be actively participating in the Ohtani sweepstakes.
This development could work in favor of the Los Angeles Dodgers as they position themselves to pursue the baseball icon during the upcoming offseason. The Dodgers have been linked to Ohtani for quite some time, and with the Mets potentially out of the race, their chances of bringing Ohtani to Dodger Stadium may have received a significant boost.