The San Diego Padres are coming to town. It’s not just a chance to see Kim play as one of the best second basemen in the majors. There’s a huge variable: Shohei Ohtani.
MLB.com announced today (March 13) that San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers will officially open the 2024 season with a two-game series in Seoul on March 21 and 22, 2024. The San Diego and Los Angeles Dodgers heavily promoted the announcement on their respective websites and social media accounts immediately following the MLB.com announcement.
“Words cannot express how excited and happy I am to be playing in Korea in a San Diego uniform,” Kim said on the club’s Twitter account. To be able to invite my teammates, staff, and coaching staff and experience such a great opportunity is so special and will be a great memory. See you in Seoul.”
San Diego and the Dodgers will likely host the opening two games of the 2024 season at Seoul Gocheok SkyDome. It will be the first time Korean fans will be able to see Kim play with the big leagues in a San Diego uniform, rather than a Kiwoom uniform, at the stadium he called home during his Kiwoom Heroes days.
But there’s a huge variable: Ohtani. Beyond the speculation that he could open the door to the first major league $500 million contract in free agency in 2023-2024, there’s talk of $600-700 million. The general consensus is that it will take more than $500 million to land Ohtani.
Another thing. Nothing is finalized at this point. It’s not even close. However, U.S. media outlets are betting that Ohtani will join the Dodgers in free agency this winter. Some outlets are even making it a fact. If Ohtani’s price tag is indeed $500-600 million, the Dodgers are the only team that can afford it.
In reality, the Dodgers did not sign a single mega-deal over $100 million in free agency in 2022-2023. The Dodgers’ uncharacteristic lack of deep pockets is seen by the American media as paving the way for their pursuit of Ohtani in free agency a year later.
Moreover, the Dodgers are a winning team, which is what Ohtani is looking for, and he has familiar California ties. The Dodgers have had many Asian players in the past, including Chan Ho Park, Hideo Nomo, Hee-seop Choi, and Hyun-jin Ryu (Toronto Blue Jays), and have plenty of marketing and business know-how to utilize them. 메이저토토사이트
The Dodgers have also had Ohtani on their radar since his high school days. The LA Times summarized the history of the Dodgers’ interest in Ohtani on Sept. 9. They recounted their unsuccessful attempts to sign him as an international amateur in high school, and their attempts to sign him when he signed with the Los Angeles Angels through the U.S.-Japan Posting System. He concluded that he will try for a third time in the upcoming 2023-2024 free agency.