Shohei Ohtani rumors: Braves continue to loom as a threat to land Ohtani

The Braves being a destination Ohtani is interested in could mean the Angels are out.
Los Angeles Angels v Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

When it comes to Shohei Ohtani and his free agency process, what's been made abundantly clear is Ohtani wants to win. How badly he wants to win can be determined by the team he decides to sign with, but winning is very clearly high up on his priority list.

For that reason, a team like the Los Angeles Angels doesn't make as much sense. Yes, the Angels can offer him a boatload of money and can offer him comfort, but they cannot with a straight face say they can offer Ohtani a winning situation. Few teams in baseball can. Even big market giants like the Cubs and (actual) Giants can say they want to win but haven't done much of it in recent years to make Ohtani truly believe it.

The reason the Dodgers have been the favorites throughout this whole process is because they can offer Ohtani the record-breaking money he seeks and the chance to win each and every year. The Dodgers might only have one recent World Series win, but they make the playoffs just about every year.

While the Dodgers make sense as an organization that fits all of his known desires, what about a team that offers him the best chance to win? They might not be able to compete with the Dodgers financially and also might be on the East Coast, but they offer Ohtani the best possible chance to win in 2024 and beyond. That team exists and is the Atlanta Braves. And according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Braves are still engaged with Ohtani's camp. Wow.

LA Angels could be out of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes if he's seriously considering the Braves

Let's get this out of the way right away. The chances of Ohtani actually signing with Atlanta are incredibly slim. Yes, they offer him the best chance to win now and in the future, but they won't be making offers close to as appealing financially as other teams that can also offer him the chance to compete.

While the Braves probably won't make sense financially, this update sure makes it seem like Ohtani is taking winning incredibly seriously. If that's the case, the Angels have basically nothing to show Ohtani, a player who was with the team firsthand for six losing seasons, that they're capable of building a contender around him.

Yes, they've had bad injury luck and will probably improve under Ron Washington, but is that really enough to convince him that the Angels can win? This is an organization that hasn't put together a winning season since 2015. They haven't made the playoffs since 2014. They've been a laughingstock around the game for almost a decade now.

If he won't sign with the Braves, he could easily go to a team like the Dodgers who are out west, and can offer him winning, and a lot of money. He could even go to the Blue Jays, a team that made the playoffs last season and seems to be desperate to win the World Series as quickly as possible.

The Braves only make sense if winning is his top priority. If indeed Ohtani is still considering them despite the obvious fact that Atlanta would be a step below financially, that's a major problem for an Angels team that seems to really want Shohei back.