4. AVOID: Shohei Ohtani
Ohtani is the best player in baseball when he’s healthy, and I would love to see him in a Red Sox uniform.
Unfortunately, signing him doesn’t make a ton of sense and wouldn’t be the best use of our resources.
As mentioned, what Boston really needs is pitching, and Ohtani can’t pitch in 2024 after undergoing his second elbow surgery. Pitchers have come back from multiple procedures, but it’s possible Ohtani will never be the same on the mound.
As a position player, Ohtani doesn’t play the field and is a full-time DH. He’s played sparingly in the outfield, but the Red Sox already have too many designated hitters and outfielders.
If Justin Turner comes back next year, he’ll be the primary DH. If he doesn’t, Triston Casas, Rafael Devers and Yoshida are all terrible defenders who should be moved to DH.
Meanwhile, the outfield is overcrowded with Yoshida, Jarren Durran, Alex Verdugo (assuming he’s not traded) and Ceddanne Rafaela.
Ohtani is amazing, but he just doesn’t fit on Boston’s roster. He’s also going to cost a boatload of money (potentially $400-$500 million), and the Red Sox would be better off spending that money on multiple different players to shore up their pitching staff and other weaknesses on the roster. As this season proved, they’re more than one insanely good hitter away from making the playoffs.