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Passan: Toronto Blue Jays popular answer among MLB executives for where Shohei Ohtani could land

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
10 months ago
Happy one week to the MLB Trade Deadline day.
One week out, we know where the holes are for the Jays. They need some pitching help, especially in the bullpen, and they need some bats. Last week, GM Ross Atkins said “we need to make this team better in any possible way,” and Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reported last night league executives around the league feel the same.
And ESPN’s Jeff Passan has linked one of the biggest names to the Blue Jays: Shohei Ohtani.
While noting the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t won enough to “convince ownership to open up the coffers” — something I’m not convinced of — there are rumblings that the Blue Jays could actually land the biggest name at the deadline: Shohei Ohtani.
Despite currently holding the final wild-card spot, Toronto hasn’t done enough to convince ownership to open up the coffers, leaving the Blue Jays precisely where they’ve been all season: the muddled middle. That said, when asked where Ohtani could wind up if he’s moved, three of the most popular answers from executives are Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Toronto (the Blue Jays are a longer shot due to a thinner farm system).
The fact that executives around the league are continuing to name the Jays as a club that could land Ohtani is riveting, nonetheless. The off-field marketing appeal is massive and goes without saying. In January, it was speculated that Ohtani alone was generating “somewhere in the low tens of millions of dollars” in additional revenue for the LA Angels.
Between you, I and these four walls, I’m not sure how Jays ownership couldn’t be willing to “open up the coffers” as the deadline looms. They are in a wild card spot and six and a half games back of the Orioles for the division lead.
Nonetheless, the cost for Ohtani would be significant. Rickey Tiedemann, MLB’s 30th-ranked prospect and the top in the Jays’ system, would likely need to be included. Multiple other high ends prospects, and/or roster players, would need to fill out the rest of the deal.
The cost of acquisition would be massive considering not just the assets to give up, but what his impending record-setting contract will be. Any team with a big budget, such as the Blue Jays, should be doing anything they can to acquire one of the best pitchers and sluggers in the league right now.
Buckle up, folks.
This week could get interesting.
Check out Betano’s latest odds for Ohtani’s next team by clicking here!

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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