It appears Ohtani wanted to be with the Dodgers so badly that he was willing to defer the majority of his massive deal so the club can continue to be active this offseason.
It looks like the Dodgers are targeting a lot of free agents or players available on the trade market that the Cubs are tied to as well.
The Dodgers are specifically targeting these three players the Chicago Cubs want too.
The Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher has been a long-rumored trade target for the Cubs. It looks like the Dodgers are closing in on a deal to acquire the 30-year-old pitcher.
Although, let the Dodgers take on this one-year rental. Glasnow has great stuff, but he is always hurt. Plus, he is making $25 million in 2024 and will be a free agent after that season.
Also, no one wins a trade with the Rays.
Giving $700 million (most of it deferred) to Ohtani has not deterred the Dodgers from trying to sign Shohei’s fellow countryman. Ohtani deferring the bulk of his money allows LA’s National League team to continue to be active with top free agents.
Yamamoto is considered to be the top free agent on the market now that Ohtani has signed. His stuff is so good that scouts think he can come in and be at least a top two starter in a rotation.
The Cubs are still in the sweepstakes, but it will be hard to overcome the Dodgers having Ohtani to recruit Yamamoto. Plus, both New York teams desire Yamamoto. Losing out this free agent target would have some sting on it as he could have a major impact on the team’s contention chances.
The Chicago Cubs have been tied to All-Star closer based on Hader closing games for manager Craig Counsell during their time together in Milwaukee. The Cubs desperately need bullpen help even though they are set at closer.
Hader has the ability to pitch multiple innings, so pairing him up with Adbert Alzolay would form a shutdown closing duo. Standing in the Cubs way is, you guessed it, the Dodgers.
This is what big market clubs do. They build up a great farm system (which both the Cubs and Dodgers have done). They make bold moves (the Dodgers signed Ohtani; the Cubs hired Counsell away from Milwaukee). They continue to pursue bold deals and close on them.
That is where the Cubs and Dodgers diverge. The Dodgers keep finding ways to close the deal while the Cubs end up looking like Shelley Levene from Glengarry Glen Ross.
Although it is all right if Los Angeles ends up with Glasnow and Hader. That would leave the Cubs off the hook from potentially making terrible additions.