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A case for Shohei Ohtani and the Baltimore Orioles

There's never been a better time for the Orioles to go all in, especially with one of the generational talents of the game. PIC: Nick Wass, AP

Cards on the table - I did not think I would be writing this blog until I said it out loud on this week's upcoming episode of Beers, Business, and Balls.

Without further ado, here it is: the Baltimore Orioles should go all in and trade for Shohei Ohtani.

The O's are in a position that they haven't found themselves in for quite some time. The better part of the last decade, to be candid, has been miserable. They'd only racked up 2 winning seasons from 2015 to 2021, and many were even shocked that they eclipsed the .500% mark last year. But - quietly, at that - the O's are back. And they could use some firepower to push them over the edge for what could be a surprisingly auspicious marriage.

Over the past few years, the Orioles have developed the best farm system in the league.'s Pipeline Rankings identified the O's as the best minor league group four years in a row, a feat that only one other franchise accomplished since they started tracking results.

Their current MLB talent reflects some of the bets they've taken on their youngsters. Gunnar Henderson is making a name for himself in the lower part of the order, with 16 homers and 43 RBI's. Adley Rutschman is off to a similar start. Cedric Mullins is proving his worth, Jorge Mateo is making the most of his second chance after being traded by the Yankees, and Ryan Mountcastle is seizing his opportunity to stand out. The O's recently brought up multiple prospects, including infielder Jordan Westburg and outfielder Colton Cowser, both ranked in the Top 100 in their category.

So, play this out - acquiring Shohei Ohtani requires a major splash, more than likely involving top prospects. What team is in better position to make this splash than the Baltimore Orioles? They just proved they can win by betting on their farm system and development, and they've got a ton of guys in the pipeline.

Make no mistake: the Orioles have a lot of young talent, but they still need some help to become a contender. Ohtani obviously becomes a major difference-maker for the Orioles if this trade happens. He would give them an ace on the mound and a middle-of-the-order bat. He would instantly becomes a great role model and a chemistry builder for the younger players on the team.

Sure, this requires a big haul. You'd have to think this would mean parting with at least 3 of their top 5 prospects, especially with a growing market for the Japanese-born superstar. What goes into this deal is certainly beyond me, but you can be nearly certain it'll require a significant investment. But there's not a single other organization in the MLB with the farm depth that Baltimore has - they've got a clear path to win the bid for Ohtani with retaining some solid talent. If they're in, they've got a palpable and real chance.

Shohei Ohtani is unquestionably the most exciting player in baseball at the moment. He is a white whale - a two-way star who can pitch and hit at an elite level. Ohtani is a global superstar of sorts, who would bring all eyes in sports to Camden Yards.

"Ohtani and Baltimore" would be a bold move, but it would also be a smart move. It would give the Orioles the star power they need to become a contender. And there's no better time for the Baltimore Orioles to go all-in than right now.


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