For the majority of the Toronto Blue Jays organization and their fanbase, it turned out quite upsetting and disappointing when they found out that the best free agent perhaps ever in MLB in Shohei Ohtani ended up signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not only is he an unstoppable force both as a hitter and a pitcher, Ohtani would have brought with him the culture, the joy and unlimited excitement that many around Toronto could use in the worst way.
However, missing out on the two-time AL MVP may in fact be a blessing in disguise for the Jays.
First and foremost, the most worrisome issue with the two-way superstar is the fact that he had undergone two major surgeries on his pitching elbow within a five-year span. His first injury required Tommy John surgery, while his recent second one has been described as a complex elbow procedure that was Tommy John-like. Either way, since both surgical procedures have prevented Ohtani from pitching in the following season in its entirety, it is indeed serious enough that it could be a huge cause for concern. Not only does it suggest that the way he pitches makes him prone to injury, but there could be a high risk that his pitching career could be done if he ever suffers another injury to the same elbow.
Secondly, deferral payments or not, $700M is a ridiculous amount of money for a franchise in itself, not to mention to use it for just one player. Spending that kind of money recklessly could severely cripple the future of a franchise and set them back many years if things ultimately don’t turn out as expected. One has to remember that the sport of baseball is a team game so no one player can do it on their own. As a result, such resources could be more wisely spent on a collection of players that could solidly fill an organization’s needs. That way, it could lead to their success collectively in the long run while maintaining financial stability at the same time.
Finally, Ohtani’s massive contract apparently has no opt-out clauses, meaning that he is locked in with the organization no matter what happens in the upcoming 10 years. As a result, with a sketchy injury history already, the Dodgers better hope he stays as healthy as possible over the next decade or else the ‘boom’ could turn into a ‘bust’ real fast.