Mazz’s thoughts on the Boston Red Sox reported interest in Shohei Ohtani
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Boston Red Sox seem be in the running for free agent Pitcher/Designated Hitter Shohei Ohtani this offseason. On Tuesday’s Felger and Mazz, Mazz gave his thoughts on the news of the Red Sox reported interest.
Are the Red Sox a real contender for Shohei Ohtani?
Felger: Mazz, you read something baseball wise that caught your eye today, right?
Mazz: Yup. Jeff Passan had sort of an outlook on the free agent market and the players who would draw the most interest, the teams who might be the most interested in those players, and at the top of his list, as one would expect, was Shohei Ohtani. Listen to what he wrote…”Ohtani, according to multiple sources, has expressed affinity for certain teams and cities in the past. He deeply respects the Los Angeles Dodgers winning ways, their ability to develop players and a progressive coaching approach. He appreciates the Texas Rangers, not just for their 2023 World Series victory, but the fact that early in his career when he was playing in Japan, they expressed strong interest in him. He loves visiting Boston and has a fondness for Fenway Park”. So when I read this, I say, well, he likes the Dodgers because of their winning ways. Texas was on him from the beginning. They wanted him from the start. He loves visiting Boston and has a fondness for Fenway Park.
Felger: Sort of like my Aunt Millie. Nothing to do with the actual team…
Mazz: Or the city.
Felger: It’s a tourist attraction for us.
Mazz: So he loves visiting Boston. He doesn’t say anything about wanting to live here.
Felger: Great place to visit.
Jim Murray: Getting a big fat paycheck from New Balance.
Mazz: Right. So I guess I read this and I say, “well wow, talk about damning with faint praise”. Like that sounds like, “Hey, let me use you to jack up the price for everybody else because I can still get those things by coming in as an opponent. I can visit Boston and I like Fenway Park where I have a .310 career batting average, by the way, but mostly because I get to hit against the trash that the Red Sox put on the mound repeatedly”.
Mazz: So this whole thing with Ohtani, does anyone really believe that when it comes when push comes to shove, does anyone really believe that the Red Sox are going to outbid the Dodgers? The Rangers? The Mets? Maybe even the Yankees or whoever else for Shohei Ohtani?
Felger: No way. They’re going to be in on it, though.
Mazz: Okay. I agree, they’re going to be in on a lot of guys.
Felger: It’s obviously already in on it, they’re just not going to win the bidding.
Mazz: So this is the part that now concerns me. Just because you want to spend money doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to. Because everybody, and this is something also that Passan pointed out, “the free agent pitching market is deep”, he says. “Everyone wants pitching this winter, like, seriously, everyone”. And you know what that means? The price is going up.