Tier 3: Teams that can likely pay Ohtani but have little shot at landing him
15) San Diego Padres
14) Houston Astros
13) St. Louis Cardinals
12) Atlanta Braves
11) Philadelphia Phillies
These teams can presumably afford to reach Ohtani's asking price or at least come close. They're also teams that have rosters that can be competitive in 2024. They either won't be as desperate as the top-10 teams, or just aren't as appealing to actually land him.
The Padres are a team that appears to be having a lot of financial problems, but they can't be completely ruled out simply because of what they've done in recent years. I'd be shocked if they were in serious discussions with Ohtani ever, but had this list been made prior to the regular season they would've been higher.
The Astros are, of course, a perenial contender in the midst of a mini-dynasty, but they likely won't be able to convince Ohtani to go there. Plus, Ohtani is just a .217 lifetime hitter at Minute Maid Park. He shouldn't want to play 81 games in a place where he clearly doesn't see the ball well.
St. Louis would be a fun landing spot with Ohtani's friendship with Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar in the spotlight, but they're a team that desperately needs pitching ASAP. Ohtani is a pitcher, of course, but he's not pitching in 2024. The Cards can't afford to pass on another year of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado by only signing Ohtani and not multiple starters.
The Braves signing Ohtani would just be unfair. They already won 107 games and looked like the best team in baseball without him. They also tied the single-season home run record without him. Ohtani could potentially be the latest team to send money to the Braves foundation, but I'd be surprised if the team that allowed Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson walk in free agency would go to the levels it'd take to convince him to come to Georgia.
The Phillies are a team that can't be ruled out of any high-priced free agent because of their past, but it's so hard to see them landing Shohei. They're another team that needs to spend on a pitcher to win in 2024, and Ohtani is not that. Plus, they've got Kyle Schwarber at DH who shouldn't be anywhere else. They'll make a call and should engage, but it's hard to see them swimming in those waters.