MLB Winter Meetings: Surprising candidate emerges as Dodgers' 'Plan B' in case they lose Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

MLB Winter Meetings: Surprising candidate emerges as Dodgers
MLB Winter Meetings: Surprising candidate emerges as Dodgers' 'Plan B' in case they lose Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

It's looking like a busy and potentially expensive winter for the LA Dodgers, with the team heavily linked to free agent Shohei Ohtani. With a lot of suspense surrounding Ohtani's future, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts may have just provided some clarity on the situation concerning a backup plan.

While LA supporters will be hoping to sign the two-way superstar, if that does not happen, free agent J.D. Martinez may return.

MLB Network's Alanna Rizzo shared on Twitter:

"On High Heat just now, Dave Roberts said Betts will be their starting 2B for 2024. Lux expected to be starting SS in his return from IL. If Ohtani not signed, JD Martinez is a strong possibility of a return."

The prospect of Ohtani is a tantalizing one for Dodgers fans. While he cannot pitch in 2024, Ohtani is still a fantastic hitter and a generational talent, thus well worth the investment.

In the 2023 season, Martinez, who is reportedly their backup plan, played 113 games and had a batting average of .271, with 33 home runs and 103 RBIs. In comparison, Ohtani had a batting average of .304, with 44 home runs and 95 RBIs.

The Dodgers face competition for Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani, according to recent reports, could decide his future this week and might receive a $500 million contract.

While the LA Dodgers have the spending power to offer Ohtani a huge contract, they aren't the only team in the league with that ability. If Ohtani does want to stay out West, the Dodgers do seem like a better fit than anyone else.

On that note, there has been recent traction about the Atlanta Braves going in for the two-way sensation, and after a 104-win season, they could be Ohtani's best option for postseason glory.

Other teams rumored to be in the hunt are the Chicago Cubs and the Toronto Blue Jays. With the tension hotting up in the race for Ohtani, it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers can land him in what could be a hugely important and record-setting deal.

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Edited by Krutik Jain