Shohei Ohtani

5 potential destinations for Shohei Ohtani in 2024 and beyond

Ohtani's chapter with the Los Angeles Angels could be over

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Who wants to be at the forefront of the biggest MLB blockbuster in recent years?

Shohei Ohtani headlines a riveting list of free agents available for signing through 2024 and beyond, and it'll be quite the chase for the two-way superstar.

Though Ohtani isn't expected to pitch again until 2025 after undergoing UCL surgery, players like him are what every franchise dreams of. He's an elite pitcher who can belt hits and home runs without a sweat, a posterboy who puts the league on notice. He just hasn't done it in the postseason yet.

And though Ohtani's chapter with the Los Angeles Angels isn't officially closed, it's probably best for the 29-year-old to aim for a World Series title elsewhere.

These five teams could make the most sense for Ohtani's coveted signature:

Los Angeles Dodgers

If Ohtani wants to continue his ascension, he may not have to move far. In fact, he could just swap the Angels' red for the famous Dodger blue. No Angels fan would forgive him for it -- and rightfully so -- but the Dodgers paving the way for Japanese stars is MLB heritage.

Los Angeles became the first professional organization in the modern era to bring a Japanese player to the majors when it signed Hideo Nomo in 1995. That later saw players like Ichiro Suzuki, Yu Darvish and Hideki Matsui, among others, come to town. Since Nomo, the Dodgers have signed a record nine Japanese players, with Ohtani potentially being the 10th.

Ohtani wants to compete in the postseason, something the Angels just haven't been able to offer. The Dodgers have qualified every year since 2012, reaching the World Series three times with one win. It'll be a strange feeling seeing him in Dodgers colors, but they check the essential boxes.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are already making splashes in the offseason. They recently hired former Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell to a five-year deal and stunned the baseball spectrum in the process.

If Chicago is looking at making a significant cultural shift after three straight years of missing the postseason, Ohtani alongside Counsell would be quite the announcement. The Cubs doled out a lucrative seven-year, $177 million deal to Dansby Swanson last year -- their second-largest free agency signing -- but they'll need even more to land Ohtani.

Recent reports suggest fellow MLB general managers believe the Cubs may be the most aggressive for his services. There should be some hope there for Cubs fans (sorry, White Sox).

Texas Rangers

Speaking of winning World Series, the Rangers are the reigning champions and will be looking for ways to improve to defend their first ever triumph.

Texas most notably penned Corey Seager from the Dodgers to a 10-year, $325 million deal in 2021 that helped the culture shift just a few seasons later, especially with Bruce Bochy joining as manager at the start of this season. Seager went on to win World Series MVP thanks to several clutch plays when the Rangers needed him most.

With Adolis Garcia and Evan Carter also stepping up, the Rangers should be looking at ways to pair Seager with someone like Ohtani. That would keep them as World Series contenders for years to come.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants have not been shy about their desires to add a superstar under Farhan Zaidi, president of baseball operations, who joined in 2018. They most notably missed out on Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, albeit the latter to a health issue, and have remained in the market since.

Ohtani has been linked to San Francisco often, with the Giants reportedly looking to add the 29-year-old to their roster and experience postseason success again -- something that hasn't happened since the even-year magic days in 2010, 2012 and 2014. League executives also point to San Francisco as being one of the favorites.

Twenty-five-year-old Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is another popular name teams will pursue, but after winning 107 games in 2021 and falling off since, San Francisco needs an identity under new manager Bob Melvin. Ohtani most certainly would provide that.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are another franchise hoping to turn things around, as they've endured three last-place finishes in the last four seasons. A team of Boston's stature shouldn't be this bad for this long, though they need more talent like Rafael Devers to contend again.

Ohtani reportedly is said to be "intrigued by Boston" and that the Red Sox under new GM Chris Breslow are "expected to be heavily considered." That's optimistic for a franchise in need of something major going their way.

The downside, though, just like for Chicago and San Francisco, is that Boston isn't exactly in a position to win now, at least not in 2024.

Does Ohtani want to keep waiting for that chance with a different team or join an immediate contender? There's a reason why the Dodgers keep being touted as the favorites, but you never truly know in MLB.

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