Shohei Ohtani to the Red Sox? One MLB insider says there’s a chance.

Red Sox

“They have the wherewithal and the opportunity to make up for the loss of Mookie Betts, if they choose.”

The Boston Red Sox could be a player in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, one insider says. Ronald Martinez/Getty

The Red Sox have rarely been mentioned as major players in the bidding war for Shohei Ohtani that will take place this offseason. But some people believe that Boston would not be a far-fetched destination for the two-way superstar next year.

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On Thursday, The New York Post’s Jon Heyman gave the Red Sox 14-1 odds of signing Ohtani this winter. That gives the Red Sox the fourth-highest odds to sign Ohtani, trailing only the Los Angeles Dodgers (2-1), San Diego Padres (7-1) and his current team, the Los Angeles Angels (12-1). 

Heyman cited that Boston’s high placement is partially due to a belief that Ohtani’s reported desire to stay near the Pacific Ocean is “overstated.” The Red Sox rank higher on Heyman’s list than any other non-California team because they have the financial resources to make a deal happen, if that’s how they want to use them.

“[The Red Sox] have the wherewithal and the opportunity to make up for the loss of Mookie Betts, if they choose,” Heyman wrote. “Some believe the alleged West Coast preference is overstated.”

To say that Ohtani had a great season would be a massive understatement. Ohtani has a triple slash of .304/.405/.664 with a 183 OPS+, 91 RBIs and an MLB-leading 44 home runs in his third-straight All-Star season. As a pitcher, Ohtani boasts a 3.14 ERA (144 ERA+) and a 1.061 WHIP with 167 strikeouts to his name.

But tragedy struck on Wednesday, when Ohtani suffered a UCL tear against the Cincinnati Reds. He will continue to hit this season, but Angels general manager Perry Minasian said that Ohtani will not be pitching again in 2023. 

This injury will almost certainly affect Ohtani’s free agency market, but it’s unclear to what extent. But even if he doesn’t receive the $600 million that many players predicted he would get before his injury, Heyman believes that the superstar’s next contract will still be at least $500 million.

“Even playing half his all-world game for now,” Heyman said, “Shohei Ohtani will be the biggest free agent ever.”

Will the Red Sox sign the soon-to-be “biggest free agent ever”? Heyman believes that, at the very least, they have a realistic shot.