MLB free agency is still a few months away, but Mariners fans are already trying to recruit the biggest name set to hit the open market.
Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani was met with loud "Come to Seattle" chants during his first at-bat in the 2023 MLB All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park, home of the Mariners, on Tuesday night.
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Los Angeles Dodgers All-Stars Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts were being interviewed by the FOX broadcast during the at-bat and when asked if they wanted to start their own chant for Ohtani, Freeman hilariously responded: "That would be tampering. I'm not doing any of that."
Ohtani told reporters he "definitely" heard the chants, calling Mariners fans "passionate" and adding that he likes the city.
Ohtani is well on his way to a second AL MVP award as he's in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in MLB history. He's hitting .302/.387/.663 with an MLB-high 32 homers while also sporting a 3.32 ERA and 132 strikeouts over 100.1 innings pitched.
Whether or not he's traded before the deadline, the 29-year-old is in line for a potentially record-setting payday this offseason when he becomes a free agent. The New York Post's Jon Heyman recently reported that the Angels, Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are seen by some around the league as the three favorites to sign Ohtani. Other big-market clubs like the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and New York Yankees figure to be among the potential suitors as well.
But that clearly hasn't stopped Mariners fans from dreaming of the two-way sensation in blue and teal.