Posted on: April 9, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Graphic by Emily Stephens

The World Baseball Classic gave us a championship game that will be remembered through generations.

As Japan went on to beat the United States 3-2 for their third ever WBC crown, one thing stood out to me: how good Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani would look in Chicago Blue.

Mohammed Jbara

Freelance Contributor

Regarded as the consensus best player in Major League Baseball, Ohtani signed a one-year deal worth $30 million fully guaranteed in October of last year. He will stay a Los Angeles Angel this season, but teams are starting to smell blood in the water. The Angels, despite having two generational talents in Mike Trout and Ohtani, have failed to even make the postseason with this duo. It’s time for the Cubs to swoop him up and shine.

This Cubs team has enough talent to backdoor their way into the playoffs. After going 12-3 at the end of the 2022 season, the Cubs finished with a record of 74-88.The Cubs went on to grab some of the top players, hitting the open market in Dansby Swanson and Cody Bellinger, locking the Gold Glove shortstop into a seven-year deal. 

This team could be a force to be reckoned with for years to come if Ohtani is added to the strong core of players on the team. Owner Tom Ricketts thinks the Cubs are contenders, and although that’s not necessarily true, bringing Ohtani in catapults the Cubs into a new era.

At the age of 28, Ohtani couldn’t be in a better spot in terms of negotiations. 

He’s simply the best player in the world at the moment. He was Rookie of the Year in 2018, MVP in 2021, and fourth in Cy Young voting in 2022. In 574 career MLB games, he has 129 home runs and 348 RBIs.

And the love he receives from fans in homeland Japan is staggering. Ohtani is to Japan what soccer star Lionel Messi is to Argentina, an icon who is celebrated and worshiped.

From a marketing standpoint, yes, he will cost the Cubs greatly, but the returns will be well worth it. In layman’s terms, he’s about to get a contract the likes of which baseball has never seen before. 

When fans think of Chicago sports, they think of the icons who empowered the city: Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Patrick Kane. The opportunity to have a player like that in Ohtani is there for the taking. Cubs right fielder and fellow Japanese player Seiya Suzuki is already trying to convince Ohtani to come to Chicago. The Ricketts family has to open up their checkbook and offer whatever, and I mean whatever, Ohtani wants.

That is, if they want to ensure the Cubs’ success.