Perhaps the New York Mets felt they were at a disadvantage in the race to sign Shohei Ohtani, 29, and the New York media stepped in to woo him.
“New York broadcaster SNY has made a rare offer: ‘The owner will buy Oregon for Ohtani,'” Japanese media outlet Full Count reported on Nov. 11.
SNY stands for SportsNet New York and is responsible for broadcasting the New York Mets and local sports in New York State. The owner they were referring to was Steve Cohen, 67, the millionaire owner of the New York Mets, and Oregon is a U.S. state on the west coast of the U.S. In other words, they were talking about buying a piece of land in the U.S. for a single individual. According to Full Count, SNY reporters are reportedly doing their best to convince the Mets to sign Ohtani.
The New York Mets have three optimal conditions for signing a free agent. First, they have a hedge fund magnate invested in the team. According to the New York Post, Cohen’s hedge fund firm, Point 72, generated more than $2.4 billion in returns for investors last year. The team spent nearly $500 million (KRW 660.3 billion) last offseason alone, including acquiring three-time Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander (Houston Astros) and Max Scherzer (Texas Rangers), as well as “Japanese ace” Kodai Senga. Second, the team is based in New York City, the largest city in the United States. Finally, while the Mets have struggled this year, they made the postseason last year and reached the World Series eight years ago, so they’re in a good position to make a run.굿모닝토토
All of this has been a problem for Ohtani, the biggest name in baseball this offseason. Even with a contract valued at at least $500 million, which Cohen can afford, the Mets aren’t even in the final three teams in the race for Ohtani. The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in the lead, followed by the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners.
Since entering the majors with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, Ohtani has put together an unprecedented two-hit performance, becoming the American League Rookie of the Year, a two-time Silver Slugger, and a four-time Cy Young Award winner. He also batted .304 with 44 home runs and 95 RBIs in 135 games at the plate, despite having his season cut short this year with a torn medial collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. 304 with 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, 102 runs scored, 20 doubles, a .412 on-base percentage, a .654 slugging percentage and a 1.066 OPS, and as a pitcher, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings in 23 starts, putting him on the verge of winning his second American League MVP award since 2021.
However, the Los Angeles Angels have not made the postseason in the last six seasons with Ohtani. In addition, they have finished fourth in the five-team American League West five times, with a best finish of third, which has left him frustrated. The Angels are unlikely to re-sign him, which is why one National League executive said at the recently concluded general managers’ meetings, “Ohtani is not a player who is driven by money.”
Furthermore, the glamorous city of New York was not his preferred location. Since entering the major leagues in 2018, Ohtani has reportedly favored teams on the U.S. West Coast, where it’s warmer and closer to Japan, and that hasn’t changed. On the other hand, the northeastern United States, where New York is located, is the worst place for Ohtani, as it can snow even in April. That’s why one of SNY’s program hosts said, “I’ll tell you why Ohtani should come to the Mets: I know he wants the West Coast, but don’t worry, baseball season is good in the East Coast too. It’s December and January when the weather gets cold, so it doesn’t really matter.”
The enthusiasm from SNY officials didn’t stop there. Reminding Ohtani that he had “never been to New York” before heading to the United States, he said, “You don’t have to worry about money in the future. If he wins, he’ll be able to live whatever he wants, and New York has Wall Street and Broadway. It also has the best pizza in the world,” he continued.
One of the reasons the New York media, or more specifically the Mets media, has been so aggressive is the lack of a national star. The Mets have had national stars in the past, including Jacob deGrom, David Wright, and Mike Piazza, and last season they had Scherzer and Verlander, but they’re all gone now. On the other hand, the rival New York Yankees have Aaron Judge, so the Mets are losing out on star power.
“Ohtani can do whatever he wants with the Mets. It’s all up to him. He can play the role of Babe Ruth, who was a two-hitter in the past, at Citi Field (the Mets’ home stadium).” “If Ohtani comes to the Mets, he won’t regret the decision. (Owner Cohen) can give him Oregon, and Washington State (also on the West Coast) is fine,” the source urged.