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Shohei Ohtani "loves" Boston, has "fondness" for Fenway Park

BOSTON -- The entirety of the MLB offseason hinges on the free agency of Shohei Ohtani. Baseball fans in Boston surely wouldn't mind seeing the Red Sox break the bank for the generational player.

And apparently, Ohtani wouldn't mind if he ends up signing in Boston.

ESPN's Jeff Passan explored the Ohtani situation on Tuesday. And while we've heard this year that Ohtani likes the idea of being near the New Balance headquarters, Passan noted that the 29-year-old likes more than that when it comes to Boston.

"[Ohtani] loves visiting Boston and has a fondness for Fenway Park," Passan wrote.

Ohtani is a .310 hitter in 14 games at Fenway Park, hitting three doubles and two homers for an .810 OPS. He's pitched two games in Boston, going 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 0.778 WHIP after allowing one run in nine innings of work. He struck out 14 Red Sox in those nine innings, while walking just one.

Passan added: "The Dodgers, Rangers and Boston Red Sox all are expected to be in the Ohtani sweepstakes, according to sources. And though the industry's overwhelming expectation is that he winds up with the Dodgers, that line of thinking is perhaps presumptive."

Ohtani won't be pitching in 2024 as he recovers from UCL surgery, but he will be hitting, coming off the best offensive season of his MLB career (.304/.412/.654). He'll certainly have his fair share of suitors, and the choice will ultimately come down to what he wants the most. While a number of factors will impact that decision, Boston at least has a few elements that other teams can't replicate.

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