The Chicago Cubs were among the finalists to land two-way legendary superstar Shohei Ohtani in free agency, but after a dramatic few days of rumors, confusion, and absolute chaos, he chose the Los Angeles Dodgers. They came to terms on a 10-year deal worth $700 million, the largest contract in the sport’s history.
The aftermath leads us to believe that it was always going to be the Dodgers he chose. He stays at his current home in Southern California, his dog’s name might be Dodger, and he worked with the club to defer large portions of his deal so they can continue pursuing talent. The two are very all-in on each other in hopes of making sure that the National League will have to run through Dodger Stadium for potentially the next decade.
The Chicago Cubs did what they could for Shohei Ohtani and will now move forward.
At the end of the day, credible sources leaked rumors about Ohtani to the Dodgers and Ohtani to the Toronto Blue Jays. Not once did we hear much about him coming to the Cubs. I credit a lot of that to Jed Hoyer keeping his word to Ohtani and following all the rules he set for his free agency. We will probably never know what negotiations took place or how close or far apart the two sides were, but I can assure you that $700 million was not on the table. Honestly, nor should it have been.
Ohtani is legendary, no doubt about it. He is a phenomenal talent on the field and brings endorsements and financial compensation off the field that would most likely pay for itself. But you and I both know Hoyer does not work long-term quite like that. He’s into shorter deals in hopes of keeping the competitive window continuously open.
The Cubs were probably out of the mix earlier than we suspect. But Hoyer kept his word to Ohtani that he would not hinder his processes. That was in good faith, and maybe in hopes his talks with the Dodgers would destruct. Hoyer did his job and will continue to do so by filling the holes in this roster and getting ready to open a championship window that will hopefully last for a while.