How Ohtani's Injury Could Give Atlanta Braves a Chance to Sign Him in 2024

Ohtani's torn UCL could steer him to a short-term deal to give him time to rehab and prove he can still pitch before locking down a long-term contract. With this change in circumstances, we take a look at how the Braves could be a contender to sign Shohei Ohtani.
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Now that Ohtani will only be a bat next season, could the Braves be in on him?

Shohei Ohtani
Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels / John McCoy/GettyImages

One thing Anthopoulos has is a history of one-year prove-it deals. We've seen such deals with players like Josh Donaldson, Marcell Ozuna, and Cole Hamels. If Ohtani can't get the long-term deal he wants, he may go for a short-term, high-dollar deal for a couple of years to prove himself on the mound before pursuing the long-term deal that every Major Leaguer desires. You know, the kind of money that will allow Ohtani to buy small islands and human souls. That's the kind of money he really wants.

Why it is still unlikely the Braves will pursue Ohtani

The Braves would have to either play Ozuna in the outfield or trade him. Granted, trading Ozuna is not a bad option after the numbers he put up this year. Ohtani played some outfield in his early NPB days but it seems unlikely that he or the team paying him will be interested in signing him as an outfielder. The Braves need to address starting pitching more than a bat.

Outside of Strider, Elder, and Fried, the Braves have questions. Will Charlie Morton retire or get old? Will Kyle Wright return to 2022 form? Will Michael Soroka be a big-league-caliber pitcher again?

Also Read: 3 Reasons You Haven't Heard the Last of Michael Soroka