Braves: Could Truist Park impact Shohei Ohtani’s free agency decision?

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The Braves have yet to make a significant splash in free agency since Alex Anthopoulos took over as general manager, mostly rewarding their own and acquiring stars through the trade market then extending them. This cycle could be the year that Alex Anthopoulos finally dips his toes in the free agent pool; however, Shohei Ohtani would be diving in head first

There were reports that Atlanta offered Aaron Nola $162 million over six years before he inked a deal to return to Philadelphia, so it’s clear that Anthopoulos has been given the green light to shell out serious capital. Whether he’s authorized to go to the heights necessary to lure the biggest free agent fish in league history is another thing entirely.

There are things working in Atlanta’s favor. Ohtani is reportedly “intrigued” by the idea of playing for the Braves, per Jon Morosi, and former general manager Steve Phillips added that Atlanta is a realistic landing spot because of his interest in playing for a contender.

Moreover, there was also a report from ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez that Ohtani could favor a shorter-term deal with a higher AAV. 

Gonzalez also reported that “the ballpark, and Ohtani’s comfort with it” could be an even more important factor than geography.

Now, I don’t know how far down on his list of demands a club’s ballpark is to Ohtani, but Truist Park is a fairly neutral ballpark; one that doesn’t favor pitchers nor hitters. Gonzalez specifically lists a team like the Giants — who play in a pitcher’s park — as one who might be unlikely to sign Ohtani based on where the team plays.

If anything I’d think Ohtani would prefer a pitcher’s park because the Japanese unicorn hits bombs. His power is breathtaking, but if he prefers a park that favors neither because he’s on both sides of things, Truist could be appealing. It won’t be the factor that makes him decide either way, but anything working in the Braves favor is helpful.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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