Shohei Ohtani is the best baseball player to walk the face of the earth. There’s never been a player remotely as valuable as him because of his ability to dominate with the stick and on the mound. Even with concerns around his arm following a second Tommy John Surgery, which will keep him from pitching until sometime in 2025, he’ll set a new bar as the highest-paid player in baseball. Ohtani’s value is unmatched, and it extends much further than just the baseball diamond.
By now, most have already seen the news that Shohei Ohtani is reportedly “intrigued” by the idea of playing for the Atlanta Braves, per Jon Morosi. The Japanese unicorn has made it overwhelmingly clear that he desires to play for a contender. Money will play a factor in his decision, but he wants to go to a place where he will be contending for championships every season, and nobody is better set up for success like the Atlanta Braves.
However, the Braves have never been an organization that is keen on the idea of signing players to mega-contracts. The largest contracts handed out in franchise history have all been to their own guys. Bidding wars aren’t their cup of tea, and the free agency battle for Ohtani will be of the historic variety.
But occasionally, exceptions must be made to the rules, and if there was ever a player worth making an exception for, it would be Shohei Ohtani.
Whoever lands Ohtani in free agency won’t just be getting the best baseball player on the planet. They would be signing one of the world’s most recognizable athletes. For a sport like baseball that’s often overlooked when it comes to global stardom, that kind of value cannot be overlooked.
Ohtani has fans from all over the world. The Braves are one of the most recognizable brands in the sport, but they would instantly skyrocket to the top if they were to make a splash like this. Millions of people across the globe would be donning tomahawks across their chests. Future generations would become Braves fans for life. The Battery would be a circus 162+ nights of the year, becoming the biggest tourist attraction in the entire city.
Attempting to measure Ohtani’s value through analytics and the back of his baseball card would be disingenuous. He’s a global icon. National media broadcasts would be lining up to feature the Braves, and the value of the organization would increase by a number that begins with the letter B. Ohtani is the exception to the rule. His on-the-field value is unique, but the opportunities that come with him off the field may be enough for the Braves to break out a blank check.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire