Los Angeles, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is one of the most multiracial cities in the United States. It has a huge Hispanic community, which refers to Spanish-speaking Central and South American immigrants, as well as white and black people. There are also many Asian immigrants, including a large Korean American community.

The Dodgers’ public relations department even has a separate staff dedicated to Hispanics. As a result of these urban influences, the Dodgers are not shy about attracting players from all over the world. Many Asian players have played for the Dodgers, and many have become fan favorites during their prime.

Since the 1990s, there are quite a few pitchers who have played for the Dodgers. He has also made great achievements. Chan Ho Park, who signed with the Dodgers while still a student at Hanyang University, crossed the Pacific Ocean to make his major league debut in 1994. He began his major league career in 1996 and won 84 games with the Dodgers until 2001, when he left for Texas as a free agent.

Park still holds the record for the most wins by an Asian in the major leagues (124), thanks to his successful career with the Dodgers. The Dodgers were one of the most popular teams in Korea thanks to Chan Ho Park.

The following year came the Hideo Nomo phenomenon, one of the most successful Asian-American players in Dodger history. Nomo burst onto the scene in 1995, going 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 28 games and 191⅓ innings pitched. He was named the National League Rookie of the Year and earned both All-Star and fourth-place Cy Young Award votes. Nomo was at his peak in 1996, winning 16 games and 14 in 1997.

After watching Park and Nomo, younger players began to recognize the Dodgers. The Dodgers, realizing the talent of Asian players, also actively recruited from Japan, especially pitchers. Kazuhisa Ishii made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2002, and Seo Jae-ng made a brief stint with the Dodgers in 2006. Takashi Saito also made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2006.스포츠토토

Hideki Kuroda, a former Japanese league ace, also made his major league debut in a Dodgers uniform in 2008. Kuroda spent four years with the Dodgers, winning 41 games and establishing himself as a solid starter, before moving to the New York Yankees in 2012 for three more years in the big leagues. Kuroda won 79 games in seven years in the majors before returning to Japan.

Following Kuroda’s departure, the Dodgers acquired Ryu Hyun-jin, the best pitcher in the KBO, in a bidding war, and continued their Asian connections by signing Genta Maeda, one of the best pitchers in Nippon Professional Baseball, ahead of the 2016 season. Maeda split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, compiling a 47-35 record with a 3.87 ERA for the Dodgers through 2019. Ryu Hyun-jin also played for the Dodgers through 2019, posting a 54-33 record with a 2.98 ERA. Both players provided more than a return on their investment.

However, Ryu and Maeda left their teams in different ways ahead of the 2020 season. Ryu signed a four-year, $80 million free agent contract with Toronto. Maeda was traded to Minnesota before the 2020 season, and the Dodgers haven’t had much contact with Asian players since. However, next year could be different. They are preparing to make a big signing. Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels) is the man.

Bob Nightingale, a columnist for USA Today and one of the leading sources in Major League Baseball, predicted on Wednesday that Ohtani will sign an eight-year contract with the Dodgers. Ohtani, one of the most dominant players of his era, is eligible for free agency after this season.

“Ohtani is the Dodgers’ No. 1 target this offseason,” Nightingale said. There will be numerous contenders, including the two New York teams (Yankees and Mets) and San Diego, but the Dodgers are the one team that continues to be linked to the two-way player, and the Dodgers feel like the best fit for him (Ohtani).”

The Dodgers have been linked to Ohtani before. During the 2022-2023 offseason, the general consensus was that the Dodgers had been more passive than expected, saving their money for Ohtani. Given the astronomical cost of signing Ohtani, they wanted to reset the luxury tax threshold and save money in the future.

The Dodgers might be more aggressive given the state of their team. They regained the top spot in the National League West this year, but had one of the worst falls of the season, falling to Arizona in the Division Series. From the starting rotation to the bullpen, there are quite a few spots that need work. Ohtani won’t be able to pitch next year due to elbow surgery, but he’s expected to be ready by 2025. With the age of J.D. Martinez, the Dodgers also need help at designated hitter, and Ohtani can play both ace and designated hitter.