At the same time, it is a little frustrating to hear Ohtani brush off the Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs have one of the best draws in baseball, Wrigley Field. Put Ohtani, the Cubs brand, and Wrigley together and you are talking about a dynamic attraction where everyone becomes even more rich and famous.
Secondly, the Cubs are on the cusp of another contention window. It is not like the White Sox were asking Ohtani to headline a rebuild here. Even the Sox owner laughed at the idea of Ohtani coming to the Southside. You get the feeling Ohtani sort of chuckled at the Cubs offer.
The Cubs nearly made the playoffs in 2023 and Ohtani would have been a piece that put them over the top.
Also, the NL Central is filled with small markets that spend small. The Cubs are the only big market club with the spending power to bury the competition and give Ohtani that elusive playoff appearance. It is not just an appearance he would get on the Northside, but numerous postseasons since only the Milwaukee Brewers have found a way to stay consistently competitive despite their small market status.
The Dodgers have deep pockets, but they still have to deal with the San Francisco Giants who are not afraid to spend. The San Diego Padres have shown they will spend. Although their local television deal falling apart is causing them to sell off their players. The Arizona Diamondbacks look primed to be competitive for a while.
It is easy to see the path to the playoffs is not as clear in Los Angeles as it would be in Chicago.
Plus, the Chicago Cubs have the prospects to pull off some major trades to add talent. Some of those prospects have the potential to join up with Ohtani to win a championship.
It is not like the Chicago Cubs have not treated other Japanese superstars well. Yu Darvish loved his time on the Northside. Seiya Suzuki is currently enjoying Chicago.
Then again, the Dodgers have the Hollywood draw and the same type of farm system to offer Shohei. Plus, it does not get cold in April and early May in Los Angeles. That is why he was never going to leave that city.