Shohei Ohtani is undoubtedly running away with the MVP award in the American League, but over in the National League Atlanta Braves star center fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. is starting to separate himself from the rest of the pack.
The 25-year-old is slashing .333/.411/.600 with a NL-leading 1.011 OPS and 37 steals entering Sunday — a major part of why the Braves began the day with the best record in the majors at 55-27 and eight games ahead of the Miami Marlins in the NL East.
With the Acuña’s numbers coupled with the Braves team success, it had 92.9 The Game’s Abe Gordon pose the question to FanGraphs’ David Laurila who is more valuable to their team: Acuña or Ohtani?
“I mean, the answer has to be Ohatni,” Laurila said,” because he does it on both sides and is a super star.
“That said, if I was a GM and could have a player going forward for an equitable contract, I would take Acuña because it is safer that — Ohtani is doing something nobody has done before and the volatility of arms, I would take Acuña over Ohtani [long term].”
Ohtani turns 29 next week and will be a free agent at the end of the season, where he is expected to land a massive, possibly record-breaking contract.
But because of that volatility when it comes to the pitching side, Laurila was asked what he expects length-wise for a deal.
“A lot of years and a lot of money,” he said. “I don’t know if I want to throw out specific numbers. MLB owners have a lot of money. Somebody is going to pay him an incredible amount of money and they should because they can. It’s supply and demand. You have billionaires who are going to throw money at Ohtani because what he can add to a team – he’s a superstar and a movie star, basically.”