A couple of days ago, the shocking news broke that Shohei Ohtani is “intrigued” by the idea of joining the Atlanta Braves. Is the feeling mutual? What will it take for the Braves to land the superstar? Let’s take a look at three reasons why this could actually happen.
1. Improvement at DH
Marcell Ozuna got off to a slow start in 2023 but he ended strong. He finished with a .274 batting average with 40 home runs and 100 runs batted in. He will make $16 million in 2024 in the final year of his 4-year contract with the Braves. However, Ozuna has a club option for the 2025 season.
With his days in a Braves jersey potentially numbered and given his recent performance, Ozuna could be a prime trade candidate to acquire starting pitching. If this happens, this opens the DH spot for Shohei Ohtani.
Shohei isn't expected to pitch in 2024 which would make him a prime candidate to be the designated hitter for Atlanta if they choose to go that route. The prospect of Ohtani pitching in the future is just an added bonus to consider.
The Japanese phenom finished the 2024 season with a .304 batting average, 44 home runs, and 95 runs batted in. Even after missing games down the stretch of the regular season, Ohtani is still likely to be named American League MVP. Signing Ohtani would create multiple opportunities for the Braves to improve.