Rumor: Phillies named as potential landing spot for Shohei Ohtani
With just 53 games played in the 2023 MLB season, the Philadelphia Phillies have been rumored as a potential suitor for upcoming free agent and baseball megastar Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani, the slugging phenomenon who also serves as the ace of the Los Angeles Angels, will become a free agent after this season and while the Angels continue to consistently run on mediocrity, pretty much every single MLB team will make the call for the Ohtani following the 2023 season.
Do the Phillies actually have a shot to land Ohtani?
Well, the short answer is maybe, but it will definitely come at a historic price point.
Phillies Current Contracts
- Bryce Harper: 13yrs /$330 million
- Trea Turner: 11yrs / $300 million
- Zack Wheeler: 5yrs / $118 million
- Nick Castellanos: 5yrs / $100 million
- Kyle Schwarber: 4yrs / $79 million
Obviously, looking at the Phillies Top 5 players under contract, it would be tough for John Middleton and company to take on another massive contract, even more so when Shohei Ohtani is expected to become the first baseball player ever to sign for what’s been reported as a ballpark number of $600M.
Sohei Ohtani will cost around Bryce Harper’s and Trea Turner’s contracts combined. It would also be over $100 million more than any contract in MLB history.
For those who are hanging on to the shred of hope that Ohtani does land in Philadelphia, remember that John Middleton is on record saying that is long-term goal is to create one of the greatest baseball teams in MLB history.
Realistically, with Aaron Nola entering free agency this offseason and Zack Wheeler coming off the books following the 2024 season, the Phillies could be in contention to land Ohtani.
In a recent article on ESPN, Buster Olney broke down a list of the top nine teams that could be in contention to land Ohtani.
The Phillies did make the list, but sit at the very bottom.
“Boston and Philadelphia are big-market teams with the financial might to pursue Ohtani, and for that reason, rival execs expect that they will do their due diligence and check-in. But over the past four years, the Red Sox haven’t exactly demonstrated an appetite for big contracts — you may have heard about the departure of Betts and Bogaerts.
The Phillies have two of the game’s highest-paid players already, Bryce Harper and Turner, leaving execs to wonder if they would be willing to take on the most significant contract ever. One evaluator did note that with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler each nearing free agency, the Phillies may be in the market for a frontline starter, and Ohtani would qualify.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently listed as the favorite to land Ohtani in free agency, with the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, and New York Yankees also listed as favorites. The Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, and Chicago Cubs are all on Olney’s list above the Phillies and Red Sox.
As Olney indicated, the Phillies’ ability to spend big money will be heavily impacted by what they decide to do in free agency with Aaron Nola, who is expected to make around $200M this offseason. Also worth noting that Rhys Hoskins will become a free agent following the 2023 season and isn’t expected to play this year after tearing his ACL in Spring Training.
If the Phillies move on from Nola and refrain from paying Hoskins, there’s a good amount of money available to at the very least, join the conversation as a serious destination for Ohtani.
Plenty of baseball left in the 2023 season and while Ohtani might seem like a long shot, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on next fall.