Is Shohei Ohtani on the verge of becoming a member of the Toronto Blue Jays? The latest odds suggest it’s becoming a very real possibility.
The Blue Jays now have the second-shortest odds (+275 boosted to +300) to sign the two-way baseball sensation behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (-200) at bet365 as of Monday morning. Roughly two weeks ago, Toronto had the eighth-shortest odds (+1200) to sign the two-time American League MVP.
Shohei Ohtani’s next team: Toronto Blue Jays
So why have Ohtani’s odds significantly shortened of late?
Well, on Sunday, The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal and Kaitlyn McGrath reported that the Jays are making a big push to sign Ohtani or trade for San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto. Rosenthal noted that the Jays have made an unorthodox philosophical push into win-now mode, prompted by the impending free agencies of both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in two years, among other factors.
The Blue Jays have never handed out a contract in excess of $150 million (George Springer – 2021). MLB insiders collectively believe Ohtani will command a record-breaking long-term contract north of $500 million, which would send Toronto into unprecedented spending territory. Owned by Rogers Communications, a publicly-traded company, Toronto’s potential signing of Ohtani could be a difficult sell to shareholders, although Ohtani’s marketability in such a diverse country like Canada could have a monumental positive financial impact for the ballclub.
Several other industry insiders are reporting that the Jays are serious contenders to sign Ohtani, along with the aforementioned Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. It’s widely expected that Ohtani will make his decision in the next week, as MLB executives congregate in Nashville for the MLB Winter Meetings for a four-day hot stove extravaganza. Historically, several big signings and trades have taken place at these annual meetings that really kickstart the free agency period.
Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing Shohei on the mound next season, as he recently underwent elbow surgery for the second time in his professional career. The uncertainty of how effective he’ll be on the mound in 2025, and beyond, is a concern for teams interested in signing the 29-year-old star.
Ohtani’s next team odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers
|Toronto Blue Jays (boost)
|San Francisco Giants
|New York Yankees
|Los Angeles Angels
|New York Mets
|Boston Red Sox
|San Diego Padres
|Tampa Bay Rays
Should you bet on Ohtani heading north?
Ohtani’s boosted +300 odds suggest Toronto has a 25% chance of signing the Japanese sensation. Hopefully, you had the foresight to lock in your bet on Ohtani landing with the Blue Jays several weeks ago, when you could’ve got him at +1200 odds. There’s not much value in locking in a wager now, and the Dodgers are the presumed frontrunners to obtain his services. However, with the strong rumours that Toronto is poised to make a big acquisition this offseason, bettors could consider locking in a wager on the Blue Jays to win the World Series (+1200) or capture the American League pennant (+650) now before a major potential signing or trade is made, which would likely shorten the odds in these two markets.
Blue Jays to win 2024 World Series