San Diego Padres rumors: Padres a "front runner" to land Shohei Ohtani?

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani / Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

If the Los Angeles Angels are indeed unable to keep Shohei Ohtani past the end of his contract at the conclusion of this season, one MLB insider lists the San Diego Padres as a "front-runner" to land the two-way superstar.

San Diego Padres rumors: Padres could be aggressive with quest to land Shohei Ohtani

According to ESPN's Buster Olney in this article, the Los Angeles Dodgers are "the favorite" to land Ohtani in what is expected to be a massive bidding war for the 28-year-old pitcher and designated hitter. However, right behind the Dodgers are three teams listed as "front-runners" for Ohtani's services. Those three teams are the Padres, New York Mets, and New York Yankees.

While Padres fans may not like hearing that the rival Dodgers are thought to be in the lead to land Ohtani, the reminders that Olney dropped in the column about how the Padres could move into the driver's seat in the chase for Ohtani at least provide some solace. Olney reminds readers that the Padres made the most aggressive offers to Trea Turner, Aaron Judge, and Xander Bogaerts last offseason (and finally landing Bogaerts at a 75 percent higher offer than that of the Boston Red Sox) could give a glimpse into how aggressive the Padres might be for Ohtani next offseason.

Then there's also this quote that Olney uses in the article to tease how aggressive Padres owner Peter Seidler might be in the competition for Ohtani:

"Why would anyone think it's going to be different with Ohtani?" asked one Padres employee. "He might not pick us, but [Seidler] is going to make it damn hard for him to turn us down."

Of course, there is a long ways to go before the actual bidding for Ohtani could possibly begin. However, it's clear that the Padres will likely figure out a way to have the right sales pitch and the right amount of capital on hand to at least make sure Ohtani knows how serious they are about bringing him to San Diego.