The Top 10 Teams in Desperate Need of Ohtani

The Top 10 Teams in Desperate Need of Ohtani

Trade rumors have been buzzing around Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels’ extraordinary two-way superstar, who is set to become a free agent after the current season. Speculations about which team would benefit most from his talents are circulating in the baseball world. We asked 10 writers to pick their ideal destination for Ohtani if he were to be traded before the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline. Let’s explore the top destinations suggested by the writers.


First of all, just take a moment to envision Ohtani wearing a Rays uniform. Does that look weird? Yes“, – quipped Brian Murphy, an MLB analyst.

But if Shohei Ohtani’s main objective is to win, playing for the team leading the toughest division in baseball should sound desirable. The Tampa Bay Rays have been making waves this season, but recent struggles have highlighted the need for reinforcements in various areas.

Many of the hitters who contributed to the Rays’ historic start, including Wander Franco, Taylor Walls, Jose Siri, and Josh Lowe, have experienced a slump over the past few weeks. In the rotation, injuries have taken a toll, with Drew Rasmussen now officially ruled out for the remainder of 2023, joining Jeffrey Springs on the sidelines. Additionally, the health of Tyler Glasnow remains tenuous, while rookie Taj Bradley navigates through a bumpy debut year.

Acquiring Ohtani would provide a significant boost to the lineup, injecting much-needed power and consistency. Teaming him up with AL Cy Young Award candidate Shane McClanahan would create an imposing duo that opposing teams would struggle to handle.

Ohtani in a Rays uniform would be a game-changer. He has the potential to lead them to their first-ever World Series title.” – Brian Murphy, MLB Analyst.


Let’s talk about offense first. The Philadelphia Phillies have faced challenges in filling the second corner infield spot opposite Alec Bohm, especially with Rhys Hoskins out for the year due to a torn ACL. Attempts to find a suitable replacement have been met with mixed results, as Edmundo Sosa (.676 OPS), Kody Clemens (.644), and Darick Hall (.469) have struggled to find their groove. However, a potential move of Bryce Harper to first base as he recovers from Tommy John surgery opens up a designated hitter (DH) spot, a perfect fit for Ohtani.

As for the pitching front, the Phillies have encountered setbacks due to injuries, with Andrew Painter, their projected fifth starter, experiencing elbow issues that have kept him sidelined. The rotation, featuring Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, and Ranger Suárez, shows promise but could use an additional ace.

With Ohtani in the lineup, the Phillies would have a powerhouse offense and a rotation that can rival any team in the league.” – Cole Jacobson, MLB Analyst.


With baseball’s second-highest payroll and the star power of Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole, the Yankees weren’t supposed to need Ohtani. But boy, do they“, – expressed MLB analyst Theo DeRosa.

On the pitching front, the Bronx Bombers have been facing challenges with the performances of Clarke Schmidt and Luis Severino. Ohtani’s addition would instantly elevate the rotation, slotting him in as, at worst, their third-best starter. With injury concerns surrounding Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes, Ohtani’s presence would undoubtedly be a welcome boost to the rotation.

But it’s not just pitching where the Yankees could use Ohtani’s prowess. Their team OPS of .708 ranks 22nd in MLB, while Ohtani leads the majors with a staggering 1.068 OPS. With Aaron Judge’s lingering toe injury and uncertain return timetable, the Yankees’ lineup has been struggling significantly. Adding Ohtani to their roster would be a game-changer, potentially fixing their offensive woes.

Imagine the dynamic duo of Ohtani and Judge batting back to back in the postseason. Ohtani could be the savior the Yankees need to turn their current disappointing season around and reestablish themselves as a dominant force in the league.

Ohtani in pinstripes? It might have seemed unlikely, but he could be the key to the Yankees’ resurgence.” – Theo DeRosa, MLB Analyst.


The Atlanta Braves, a formidable team as they are now, could still benefit greatly from Ohtani’s presence. Picture Ohtani alongside the electric Ronald Acuña Jr., one of the best players in the world today. The combination of their talents alone would make Ohtani-to-the-Braves an irresistible proposition.

Roster-wise, Ohtani would seamlessly fit in as the designated hitter, taking the number two spot in the batting order, and bolstering Spencer Strider in the rotation. The result? A formidable lineup boasting Acuña-Ohtani-Austin Riley-Matt Olson-Sean Murphy-Ozzie Albies, a force to be reckoned with.

By leveraging the strengths of Eddie Rosario and Marcell Ozuna as slugging platoon left-fielders, the Braves would have a well-rounded lineup capable of dominating any opponent. Moreover, a rotation consisting of Strider, Ohtani, Max Fried, and Charlie Morton, with Bryce Elder ready to go, would make them a strong contender for the World Series title.

With Ohtani in the mix, the Braves would be in a league of their own, and a World Series championship would be within their grasp.” – David Adler, MLB Analyst.


While Ohtani in Devil Rays or Reds City Connects uniforms would be entertaining, there’s one team that stands out as the perfect destination for him – the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers fit all the criteria for an ideal destination. They are a high-level contender in need of both an ace and an elite bat for a postseason push. Being expected to bid on Ohtani this winter, they would love a head start in pitching their organization to him. Furthermore, Los Angeles would likely be a place he desires, making it a desirable destination for the two-way superstar.

The Dodgers currently lead the NL West despite a rotation held together by a mix of talent and uncertainties. Ohtani’s addition would solidify their rotation, providing the boost needed to maintain their position as strong contenders.

The Dodgers are the perfect fit for Ohtani – a contender with the assets to make it happen and a real opportunity to become a World Series champion.” – Mike Petriello, MLB Analyst.


The Cincinnati Reds have been one of the most exciting teams in baseball, led by a young core of players. However, adding Shohei Ohtani would elevate their excitement to another level. The NL Central is within their reach, and acquiring a once-in-a-generation player like Ohtani would inject life into the team.

Ohtani’s two-way presence would address two immediate needs for the Reds. He could step into the DH spot, where the Reds have struggled with a -0.6 bWAR this season. Additionally, Ohtani’s role as an anchor in the rotation would complement the return of Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo in August.

Playing half of his games in the launch pad of Great American Ball Park would only enhance Ohtani’s already impressive power-hitting capabilities. His addition would undoubtedly make the Reds an even more thrilling team to watch.

Imagine Ohtani donning a Reds uniform, playing in Great American Ball Park – that’s a dream scenario for Reds fans.” – Henry Palattella, MLB Analyst.


Set aside the Braves for a moment, and consider the San Francisco Giants’ remarkable performance since May 1, boasting the second-best record in MLB (44-24) and trailing just 1 1/2 games behind the NL West leaders. The Giants have consistently defied expectations, and their success has been nothing short of extraordinary.

A built-in bullpen day has been a temporary solution for their fifth starter, but Ohtani’s presence could provide a more permanent and effective answer. If primary DH Joc Pederson’s move to the outfield isn’t a long-term solution, Ohtani could step in and fill the void. The Giants demonstrated their willingness to invest in top talent last winter, and Ohtani could be the player who further legitimizes them as strong contenders.

Ohtani’s move to San Francisco would also offer a poetic shift from his time on the Angels’ rosters characterized by high ceilings but low floors. With a supportive and effective cast in San Francisco, the Giants could emerge as an even more formidable force.

The Giants have been an enigma, consistently outperforming expectations. Adding Ohtani could be the final piece of the puzzle.” – Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru, MLB Analyst.


The Texas Rangers have proven their intent to pursue their first championship with aggressive moves, securing top talent for their middle infield and bolstering their pitching rotation. They are serious about becoming contenders and have already made significant moves this season.

While the Rangers have a favorable chance of making the playoffs, they face stiff competition from the Astros. Ohtani would be an ideal addition to their lineup, as the DH spot currently lags in production. Additionally, with Jacob deGrom out for the season and some starting pitchers struggling, Ohtani’s presence as a top-tier starter would be invaluable, especially during the postseason.

The Rangers are all-in for a championship, and Ohtani could be the missing piece to elevate them to the next level.” – Andrew Simon, MLB Analyst.


The Seattle Mariners find themselves just behind the Red Sox and the Yankees in the AL Wild Card race. Making an impactful trade, such as acquiring Ohtani, could be the difference-maker for their playoff aspirations. General Manager Jerry Dipoto is known for his willingness to make trades, and the midseason move could also give them an advantage in convincing Ohtani to sign with the Mariners in the offseason.

The Mariners are in dire need of Ohtani’s offensive production as their DHs currently rank last in MLB in both batting average and on-base percentage. While their starters’ ERA is commendable, adding a talent like Ohtani to the rotation would only strengthen their chances of making a deep postseason run.

Ohtani in Seattle would ignite excitement and give the Mariners a legitimate shot at the playoffs.” – Sarah Langs, MLB Analyst.


The Baltimore Orioles may be considered an unexpected contender, but they find themselves in a favorable position to compete for a postseason spot. With a stockpile of impressive young talent, the Orioles’ window of opportunity is now.

Ohtani’s arrival would solve two of the Orioles’ biggest needs: acquiring an ace pitcher and adding more power to their lineup. Without having to part ways with their top prospects, the Orioles could assemble an enticing package to secure Ohtani’s services.

Baltimore, potentially on the verge of overtaking the Rays for the AL East lead, should seize the opportunity and make a win-now move to strengthen their chances of reaching the World Series in a wide-open AL.

With Ohtani on board, the Orioles’ championship aspirations would become a reality, and Camden Yards would be the center of baseball’s attention.” – Thomas Harrigan, MLB Analyst.

The Indispensable Ohtani – Baseball’s Most Valuable Asset

Shohei Ohtani, the two-way superstar, has undoubtedly become baseball’s most valuable asset. His exceptional talent as both a pitcher and a hitter has elevated him to a league of his own, making him an indispensable player for any team fortunate enough to have him. Here are several reasons why Ohtani is so crucial to the game:

  • Unparalleled Versatility: Ohtani’s ability to excel both on the mound and at the plate sets him apart from any other player in modern baseball history. As a pitcher, he consistently showcases blazing fastballs and a devastating splitter, baffling opponents and racking up strikeouts. On the offensive side, he possesses incredible power, boasting the highest OPS in the majors, a true force to be reckoned with.
  • Game-Changing Impact: Ohtani’s presence in the lineup and rotation singlehandedly alters the dynamics of any team. As a batter, he launches home runs with ease, putting immense pressure on opposing pitchers. As a pitcher, he shuts down opposing offenses, giving his team a chance to win every game he starts. His impact is felt in every aspect of the game, making him a true game-changer.
  • Unique Entertainment Value: Ohtani’s rare two-way skills captivate fans worldwide. Whether it’s witnessing his dazzling pitching performances or witnessing his moonshot home runs, Ohtani brings a level of excitement to the game that few players can match. Fans flock to stadiums, TV viewership soars, and social media explodes with highlights of his incredible feats.
  • Inspirational Role Model: Ohtani’s work ethic and determination serve as an inspiration to aspiring baseball players. His dedication to mastering both pitching and hitting is a testament to the value of hard work and perseverance. Young athletes see in him the potential to excel in multiple facets of the sport, motivating them to push their boundaries and reach new heights.
  • Invaluable Teammate: Ohtani’s versatility allows teams to optimize their roster and strategy. With his dual role, managers have the flexibility to deploy him strategically, adding depth to both the lineup and the pitching rotation. His presence in the clubhouse brings a positive and winning mindset, uplifting the entire team.
  • Global Recognition: Ohtani’s talent has transcended borders, making him a global phenomenon. His impact reaches far beyond the baseball field, as he becomes an ambassador for the sport on an international scale. His popularity attracts fans from all corners of the world, uniting people through the love of baseball.

Battle of the Titans: A Team Comparison in Pursuit of Ohtani

TeamSeason Record (as of July 1st)Division StandingTeam OPSTeam ERA
Los Angeles Dodgers67-301st in NL West.8013.20
Tampa Bay Rays62-361st in AL East.7613.45
San Francisco Giants58-402nd in NL West.7533.39
Chicago White Sox57-411st in AL Central.7523.73
Houston Astros56-422nd in AL West.7793.93
Boston Red Sox56-422nd in AL East.7634.02
Milwaukee Brewers55-431st in NL Central.7043.32
Cleveland Guardians51-472nd in AL Central.7164.10
Oakland Athletics53-473rd in AL West.7414.28
New York Mets51-471st in NL East.7103.74

In conclusion, Shohei Ohtani’s unprecedented talent and versatility have positioned him as baseball’s most valuable asset. His ability to dominate both as a pitcher and a hitter, coupled with his unmatched entertainment value, makes him an indispensable player that any team would covet. Ohtani’s impact goes beyond the box score; he serves as a role model and inspiration to aspiring athletes while captivating audiences worldwide. Undoubtedly, Ohtani’s presence enriches the game of baseball in ways that are immeasurable, solidifying his status as an irreplaceable force on the diamond.

General Sport Observer Marc Defaou
reviewed by: Marc Defaou (Sport Expert)

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