(CTN News) – It appears that the Texas Rangers have decided to end their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. Recent reports indicate that the bidding for Ohtani has exceeded $500 million and could potentially reach $600 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, and the current team, Los Angeles Angels, are believed to be the final contenders.
Shohei Ohtani is expected to make his decision as early as this week, possibly during the Winter Meetings.
According to ESPN’s report on Friday, the Rangers were initially interested in signing Shohei Ohtani but have now moved on from the pursuit.
The Rangers were considered a potential landing spot for Ohtani, especially after making significant investments in their offense over the past two offseasons, acquiring players like Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jacob deGrom. Additionally, the Rangers recently achieved their first-ever World Series victory last month.
Furthermore, the Rangers lack a suitable candidate to serve as a regular designated hitter, which is crucial for Shohei Ohtani, as he will only be able to focus on hitting in 2024 due to a previous procedure on his torn UCL.
However, he plans to resume both pitching and hitting in 2025, according to his representatives.
During a press conference on Thursday, Rangers general manager Chris Young did not comment on any rumors surrounding Shohei Ohtani.
He did mention that if the team required additional financial resources to pursue a player, he could present the case to team owner Ray Davis.
It is worth noting that the Rangers already have a significant financial commitment of $166.75 million allocated to eight players for the 2024 season, as reported by Spotrac.com.
Additionally, the Rangers’ television payout for 2024 is uncertain due to the bankruptcy situation of Diamond Sports Group, the company responsible for managing the Bally networks.
As they strive to resolve their financial issues, they may potentially drop some of their partners for the upcoming season to stabilize their balance sheet.
The Rangers are not only in desperate need of a reliable closer, but they are also actively looking to bolster their bullpen and add another starting pitcher. Meanwhile, Ohtani had an outstanding performance in 2023, finishing with a slash line of .304/.412/.654/1.066, hitting 44 home runs and driving in 95 runs.
His impressive home run tally led the American League. Additionally, as a pitcher, he achieved a 10-5 record with a 3.14 ERA, striking out 167 batters and issuing 55 walks. Interestingly, the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets have also shifted their focus elsewhere.