Shohei Ohtani is a unicorn and he's on the open market for MLB free agency. As a result, MLB odds are freshly available for which team will ultimately reel in the offseason's biggest fish.
Ohtani has stated that he wants to win after missing out on the postseason in all six seasons spent with the Los Angeles Angels. So, he'll likely be pursuing a team with legitimate World Series odds in 2024 and beyond. In the last few weeks, a new dark horse has emerged, too: the Toronto Blue Jays.
Let's dive in with the latest betting odds for Shohei Ohtani's next team.
Which MLB team will Shohei Ohtani play for in 2024?
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+130||+100|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+750||+500|
|New York Yankees||+900||+800|
|New York Mets||+1,100||+800|
|San Francisco Giants||+1,300||+800|
|Boston Red Sox||+1,500||+1,200|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2,000||+1,400|
|San Diego Padres||+2,500||+2,000|
Odds as of November 28, 2023.
The situation at a glance
Shohei Ohtani hit free agency at 29 years old, making him primed to fetch a massive, long-term contract on the open market. The Los Angeles Angels have, to no one's surprise, tendered a qualifying offer to the two-way phenom that will absolutely be declined. If/when the Angels are unable to re-sign Ohtani, Los Angeles will get a compensatory draft pick next summer.
Ohtani has been unbelievable despite the Angels' overall futility. He won AL Rookie of the Year in 2018 and took home the AL MVP in 2021, finished second in that race a year ago, and won his second MVP trophy in mid-November. Overall, Ohtani has hit .274/.366/.556 with 171 home runs and 437 RBI in 701 games from 2018-23. On the mound, he's gone 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 608 strikeouts across 481 2/3 innings in 86 career starts. He's doing things literally no one has ever done in MLB history.
One hitch is whoever signs him will forego the pitcher for at least the 2024 season as he underwent elbow surgery after he was diagnosed with a torn UCL. Still, even when Ohtani was previously limited to hitting when recovering from Tommy John surgery (2019), he hit 18 home runs and slashed .286/.343/.505 in 106 games.
MLB Trade Rumors predicts a 12-year, $528-million contract for his services. And while that price tag may seem steep, his upside is higher than any player who has ever come along. There will be some concern about him bouncing back after another arm surgery, but several teams will likely be locked in a bidding war.
Best MLB bonuses
Up to $1,500 bonus bets back if your first bet doesn’t win! Claim Now
Get up to $1,000 in bonus bets if your first bet doesn't win! Claim Now
Eligible USA locations only. Also, see our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Favorites to sign Shohei Ohtani ahead of the 2024 season
Los Angeles Dodgers (+100 to +130)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the clear front runners, listed as short as even money at bet365. Imagine slotting Ohtani's bat next to Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman for the foreseeable future. The Dodgers also declined to extend a qualifying offer to 2023 designated hitter J.D. Martinez, likely because of their intended pursuit of Ohtani.
While Los Angeles' most glaring weakness is its rotation, Ohtani would eventually — in theory, anyway — help bolster that area of the roster. For 2024, his presence would make this the most intimidating lineup in the game. Yes, even more than Atlanta's crew.
The Dodgers have money and have rarely shied away from spending it, as evidenced by the big deals given to Betts and Freeman. They've also been selective, letting the likes of Trea Turner and Corey Seager hit the open market in recent years, watching both of them make deep playoff runs — with the latter winning a World Series this year.
While the Dodgers won't make a panic move, signing Ohtani wouldn't give that impression, either. And with the Dodgers historically adept at developing talent from within, expect them to foster further growth to provide support from within should they lock most of the payroll up with Ohtani, Betts, and Freeman.
Texas Rangers (+400 to +500)
The reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers have been very busy in free agency over the last couple of offseasons, adding Corey Seager and Marcus Semien one year and signing Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, among others, the next. They landed Max Scherzer at the trade deadline and boasted a strong lineup consisting of mercenary talent, home-grown stars (Josh Jung, Evan Carter), and savvy acquisitions (Adolis Garcia, Nate Lowe).
If Ohtani values winning above all else, then why not side with the team that just went the distance and has shown a lust for improvement at all times in the last couple of seasons? Oh, and remember the aforementioned Giants dynasty? Well, Bruce Bochy — Texas' current manager — was at the helm for all three of those titles.
Chicago Cubs (+500 to +700)
A few weeks ago, the Cubs were available at +2,100 to sign Ohtani and that line disappeared fairly quickly after Chicago was reportedly seen as a serious contender to land the star, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.
The Cubs gave Craig Counsell $8 million per year to serve as the new manager, so it stands to reason that they'd be willing to spend a bit on on-field talent. With Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman among their free agents, the Cubs have holes to fill and feature a lot of exciting young talent either at the major-league level (Pete Crow-Armstrong, Justin Steele, Nico Hoerner) or getting close (Kevin Alcantara, Owen Caissie).
Toronto Blue Jays (+500 to +750)
As recently as November 27, the Toronto Blue Jays were listed at +2,000 or longer. That changed very quickly after reports suggested that Toronto would be one of the potential suitors in the chase for Ohtani. While ESPN's Jeff Passan unsurprisingly listed the Dodgers and Rangers as fits for the two-way phenom, the Blue Jays' inclusion was a bit of a surprise, but Ohtani would fit their needs after clutch scoring and hitting with runners in scoring position was an issue for Toronto in 2023.
One potential blocker would be the current contract statuses of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. Neither player has agreed to a long-term extension and both are slated to hit free agency after the 2025 season. Obviously, signing Ohtani doesn't require extensions to be in place, but there is lack a clarity on the long-term roster up north.
Nevertheless, Ohtani would be a tremendous addition to the lineup in 2024 while theoretically boosting an already impressive rotation in 2025. Still, these odds shifted a bit too much for there to be real value on taking the Jays as a flier.
San Francisco Giants (+800 to +1,300)
This may seem counterintuitive with Ohtani stating he wants to join a contender, but the San Francisco Giants could be a good fit. It's been a while since anyone has consistently hit dingers into McCovey Cove, after all.
And it hasn't been a lack of effort holding the Giants back. They tried to acquire Giancarlo Stanton before he landed in the Bronx (bullet dodged, likely). They made a push for Bryce Harper. They were runners-up for Aaron Judge last offseason and had a deal in place for Carlos Correa before getting cold feet due to a concerning medical report.
San Francisco is looking for the next big thing. Remember, the last successful Giants team won three World Series titles in five seasons and that roster was hardly a knockout. Some great talent, sure, but a surprise dynasty nonetheless.
After missing out on that top-tier talent, the Giants still went out and added useful players like Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger, both of whom would look a lot better next to an Ohtani.
Still, the Giants went from being considered the second most likely team to sign Ohtani to sixth or seventh in a span of three weeks. The Giants need to make a big splash happen, and if you're still bullish on San Francisco to land Shohei as noise swells around other teams, this might be the time to pull the trigger.