Throughout the offseason the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. . This week we're going to debate teams that most need Shohei Ohtani.
Which teams most needs Ohtani?
Dayn Perry: I realize they apparently have zero intention of bidding for Ohtani, but the Mariners get my vote. Last season, they got a measly .676 OPS from their DHs, which is about 400 points shy of what Ohtani gave the Angels in 2023. As well, Ohtani's return to the mound in 2025 would give the M's even more pitching depth from which they can trade for offensive upgrades. Throw in the "box office" appeal of Ichiro's former team landing his successor as the most famous baseball player in the world, and it'd be an ideal fit. Alas, it's almost certainly not going to happen.
R.J. Anderson: "Need" can be taken a lot of ways. You can use it to talk about on-the-field value and who would stand to gain the most from that perspective. I'll go a different route and say either the Dodgers or the Giants. The former have played the long game to put themselves in position to land Ohtani. They'll be fine if they miss out -- they'll just pivot to the next star -- but Andrew Friedman always seems to get what he wants, and this would be a shocking turn of events if he comes up empty again on Ohtani. The Giants meanwhile really, really need to get across the goal line with a superstar at some point after whiffing left and right (plus having Carlos Correa's medicals pop up) on various headline names.
Matt Snyder: I've made cases for teams like the Blue Jays, Rangers, Mariners, Cubs and even Diamondbacks in addition to the obvious Dodgers pick. I'll go a bit off the board here with the Orioles. I know, I know. So many people have been brainwashed to protect the money of the billionaire owners that this seems like a sacrilegious suggestion. The Orioles have almost NOTHING on the books moving forward, though. They literally have zero salaried players past 2024. The window of contention won't be open forever no matter how tightly the prospects are hugged. At some point, ownership and the front office owe it to the fans to be aggressive in trying for the first World Series title since 1983.
Mike Axisa: The Giants are my pick. It wasn't long ago that this franchise had a Rockies and Brewers. The Giants badly need a star because, frankly, their roster of Logan Webb and optimized spare parts is not the most enjoyable watch. San Francisco needs a big name player in the worst way. Get Ohtani and suddenly a lot more players are going to want to wear your uniform too. He opens the door to so many possibilities, both on the field and off.. They slipped all the way down to tenth in the National League in attendance this past season, behind the