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Monday, December 04, 2017

Heyman | Shohei Ohtani Down To 7 Teams

With the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes recently picking up some serious steam, a source close to the situation has now informed FanRag Sports that the Japanese phenom has narrowed down his list of potential suitors to seven teams. Ohtani is still considering the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2017 at 02:10 PM | 132 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shohei ohtani

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   1. Rally Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5585874)
Earlier I saw it was down to 5 teams. Good to see the Angels still in it. Just because Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth never got to play together is no reason Ohtani and Trout can't.

I guess his definition of small market is "smaller than New York or Tokyo". If I'm right we can rule out Mexico City as well.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:26 PM (#5585902)

I guess his definition of small market is "smaller than New York or Tokyo". If I'm right we can rule out Mexico City as well.


There doesn't seem to be a lot of logical coherence to his decision making process.
   3. Rally Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5585903)
What they can offer:

Rangers: 3.5m
Giants 1.8
Mariners 1.6
Angels 1.3

The others can only give him 300k. They can't do anything to raise that either, the way the penalties work they can spend their whole pool but no more than that on one player.

It would be interesting to see if Ohtani is at least somewhat motivated by money. He could pick one of the first four, and then ask them to work out a trade with the Yankees for their bonus pool money. Yankees would not end up with anyone nearly as good as Ohtani, but there is certainly room for them to end up with a better prospect or player than they can expect to get spending 3.5 million on what's left of the international market.
   4. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5585912)
The others can only give him 300k. They can't do anything to raise that either, the way the penalties work they can spend their whole pool but no more than that on one player.


You're talking bonus money, right? they still have to pay him at least the league minimim as a salary, right? Are teams forbidden from offering/paying more than the league minimum?
   5. Bug Selig Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5585916)
There doesn't seem to be a lot of logical coherence to his decision making process.
I guess I hadn't realized that the pitches were public.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5585917)

You're talking bonus money, right? they still have to pay him at least the league minimim as a salary, right? Are teams forbidden from offering/paying more than the league minimum?


Yes. He has to be signed to the standard rookie player contract. He will make the minimum his first 2 years, at least.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5585922)
I guess I hadn't realized that the pitches were public.

Quite frankly, there's nothing in the pitches that should seriously impact his decision making. The cities are the cities. The teams' talent levels are what they are.

If he lets some schmooze job pitch-book (in which everyone is going to tell him what they think he wants to hear) change his mind, then he's a bigger fool than even I think he is.

Any information that's going to be gleaned in this process will be through face-to-face communication and deciding who he can trust.
   8. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5585926)
Getting to watch NYY fans wake up and run downstairs to the tree only to realise that the big present with the shiny bow isn't actually for them has been surprisingly fun. I mean, it's a Monday.
   9. Rally Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5585930)
You're talking bonus money, right? they still have to pay him at least the league minimim as a salary, right? Are teams forbidden from offering/paying more than the league minimum?


Yeah, bonus money. They also can't promise him an MLB roster spot. Sure, they could say so, but you can't hold them to it if Ohtani walks a batter per inning, strikes out in 50% of his at bats, and the team decides he needs some AAA time.

There is nothing to stop say, the Cubs, from giving him the Kris Bryant treatment to get an extra year of service time, and nothing Ohtani could do about it if he felt the team misrepresented during these negotiations.
   10. Russ Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:44 PM (#5585932)
Aren't those all of the non-A's west coast teams plus Chicago (2016 WS champs + Joe Maddon who has used a pitcher as a position player in the past) plus Texas (maybe based on a recommendation from Yu Darvish or maybe based on how many possible places he could play there or maybe the $$$)?

Basically West Coast + Cubs and Rangers, not sure what is so particularly incoherent about that list.
   11. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5585934)
There doesn't seem to be a lot of logical coherence to his decision making process.

Or, as was harped on in the other thread, we don't even know his decision making process. The "small market" comment only has come from Cashman, and is evidenced by his list of finalists, it's just not true, or at least not the only/main factor.

Everyone is just guessing here, every single reporter. No one is even pretending that they have sources relaying them information.
   12. Tin Angel Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5585940)
If he really likes losing he should choose the Padres.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:51 PM (#5585941)
Or, as was harped on in the other thread, we don't even know his decision making process.

Of course we don't. But the resulting list doesn't have a lot of things in common.

Getting to watch NYY fans wake up and run downstairs to the tree only to realise that the big present with the shiny bow isn't actually for them has been surprisingly fun. I mean, it's a Monday.

I never wanted him to come over in the first place, even if that meant him signing with the Yankees. I'm on the record saying he is being stupid to do so before he hits 25.
   14. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5585950)
Or, as was harped on in the other thread, we don't even know his decision making process. The "small market" comment only has come from Cashman, and is evidenced by his list of finalists, it's just not true, or at least not the only/main factor.


What did Mr Cashman say was the only/main factor?
   15. The Good Face Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5585954)
Of course we don't. But the resulting list doesn't have a lot of things in common.


All teams not on the East Coast. That seems to be his biggest driver based on that list. Lots of West Coast teams plus Texas and Chicago. Texas has lots of guaranteed money to give him, plus a track record of doing well with at least one high profile Japanese player. Chicago is kind of the odd team out there.
   16. villageidiom Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5585957)
Everyone is just guessing here, every single reporter. No one is even pretending that they have sources relaying them information.
I mean, Heyman in his other article admits reporters were talking out of their asses in anointing the Yankees as the favorites until they were eliminated. They have like $3m more to offer than the lowest possible offer! And they're the Yankees! And now that that's done, he's resumed his guessing and anointed the Padres - basically the opposite of his first guess - as the front-runners. While that's still a guess, at least he's informing that guess with some information that seems sensibly material. Some of the other information he uses is dreck. But material or dreck, none of the information comes from Ohtani or his camp.
   17. ptodd Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:16 PM (#5585960)
Pretty much every team except Texas has neutral (multi year) or favorable pitcher park factors. Texas of course has no state taxes (same as Seattle)

All teams have ST in Arizona. Maybe Ohtani wants to avoid the long bus rides in Florida in ST
   18. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:23 PM (#5585966)
I'm on the record saying he is being stupid to do so before he hits 25.


You'll look pretty dumb when he gets his 3,000th hit and 300th win on the same day. Counting numbers don't just happen you know.
   19. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5585969)
But the resulting list doesn't have a lot of things in common.

I don't see it as all that odd a list. He lists every west coast team except Oakland, which makes sense if you assume that proximity to Japan is important to him and that no sensible person would choose to play in Oakland's lousy stadium. He then adds on the Rangers, who have (a) the most bonus pool money of any team and (b) a history with Darvish, who by some accounts is Ohtani's childhood hero. The inclusion of the Cubs is harder to rationalize, but its probably fair to say that the Cubs, Dodgers and Rays are by reputation the three teams with the smartest front offices, and of these three is easy to see why Ohtani wouldn't want to play in Tampa.

I never wanted him to come over in the first place, even if that meant him signing with the Yankees. I'm on the record saying he is being stupid to do so before he hits 25.

You are indeed, and I'm equally baffled by his decision. I can completely understand why someone would make fundamental career choices based on considerations other than money, but given that Ohtani's choice is between (i) pitching in MLB now; and (ii) pitching in MLB in two years for a ton more money, it seems like a no-brainer.

EDIT: Coke to the Good Face.
   20. Boxkutter Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:26 PM (#5585971)
The way I see it, the Mariners have a 50% chance of signing him, and the other six teams have a 50% chance.
   21. Tony S Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:26 PM (#5585972)

It was quite amusing to see the Yankee fans' (and media's) sense of entitlement get deflated so thoroughly. I'm an Astros fan, and I never thought my team had much more than a 1-in-30 chance of landing Ohtani, World Series title or not. (I do wonder why the Rangers made his final cut and the Astros didn't.)

Just hope it's not the Dodgers...
   22. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:29 PM (#5585974)
Chicago is kind of the odd team out there.


Needless to say it's a heck of lot closer to the east coast then the west coast.

Who had the Padres in the Ohtani sweepstakes? I'm hearing crickets....

I suppose if you like that consistently perfect 72 and sunny weather then SD is definitely the place for you. Good beaches, great Mexican food, nice place to live and compared to some of the other cities, definitely off the beaten track.

He definitely appears to have a firm idea of what he wants and I can respect that. He's obviously very keen to show his talents on the big stage, but man for 24 months of waiting he really could earn some serious dosh.
   23. The Good Face Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5585983)
(I do wonder why the Rangers made his final cut and the Astros didn't.)


Rangers are in the AL, have more monies to offer him, and have the Darvish history. Supposedly Otani is a big Darvish fan, and Texas did everything they could to make Darvish happy, comfortable and successful.
   24. Tony S Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5585985)
Rangers are in the AL, have more monies to offer him, and have the Darvish history. Supposedly Otani is a big Darvish fan, and Texas did everything they could to make Darvish happy, comfortable and successful.


Well, the Astros are in the AL too (and no, it still doesn't feel right).
   25. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5585989)
Texas did everything they could to make Darvish happy, comfortable and successful.


I know very little about Japanese culture, however it would seem that this type of overly extended welcome is something that would be highly valued by the Japanese...or am I talking out of my arse?

As pointed out in another thread, maybe choosing a team that hasn't been all that successful lately is part of the process(or a team that has obvious openings). Ensuring that he'll get his reps on both the mound and in the box without the pressure of being replaced the instant he struggles at either task.
   26. Tony S Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5585997)
As pointed out in another thread, maybe choosing a team that hasn't been all that successful lately is part of the process(or a team that has obvious openings). Ensuring that he'll get his reps on both the mound and in the box without the pressure of being replaced the instant he struggles at either task.


This might be a big factor in why the Padres are in the running. That and SD's perfect climate would be a hard combo to top.

I just thought of a reason a Japanese player might avoid the Astros... :(
   27. shoewizard Posted: December 04, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5586000)
Direct non stop flight times, in hours: minutes

Sea - Tokyo 10:20
SFO - Tokyo 10:55
LAX - Tokyo 11:55
SD -- Tokyo 12:10
Chi -- Tokyo 13:20
DFW- Tokyo 13:45
JFK - Tokyo 14:30

Keep in mind that it's not just the travel time, it's also the time zone changes, and somewhat ironically this works in reverse, against the west coast.

The body take approximately 1 day for each hour of time zone difference to completely turn around. You might be able to sleep through the night the first night, due to exhaustion. But after that it's a series of odds wake up times, hitting walls in the afternoon, getting a second wind, only to crash again immediately after dinner and then wake up at 2 AM. It really takes at least 1-2 weeks to "feel 100% right".

Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of New York, and of course 17 hours ahead of the west coast.



   28. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 04, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5586005)
I doubt Ohtani is hoping for good Mexican food.
   29. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 04, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5586007)
somewhat ironically this works in reverse, against the west coast


I'm not so sure about that since 12 hours difference is the worst case. The body doesn't get a case of the Mondays.
   30. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 04, 2017 at 05:33 PM (#5586037)
For me, I can't sleep on planes but I don't get jetlagged going to Asia. I'm wrecked for a week or so when I come home though.
   31. haven Posted: December 04, 2017 at 05:58 PM (#5586058)
the resulting list doesn't have a lot of things in common.


all spring in az

avoiding fla could be the driving force........
   32. Meatwad Posted: December 04, 2017 at 06:01 PM (#5586060)
He must follow florida man on twitter.
   33. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: December 04, 2017 at 06:08 PM (#5586067)
I'm not so sure about that since 12 hours difference is the worst case. The body doesn't get a case of the Mondays


Oddly, the studies I've seen have suggested that this is not the case (and it's one reason why flying east is so much harder than flying west).
   34. madvillain Posted: December 04, 2017 at 06:12 PM (#5586069)
4 hours closer is 4 hours closer. Anecdotally the Japanese Americans I've known (quite a few I guess thanks to a living situation in NYC) all considered the West coast much more accessible to Japan than NYC. I think it has historical and cultural ties to Japan that play up the "only" 4 hour difference in getting there by jet. Seemingly, Japanese-Americans make up a much larger footprint here in Seattle than in NYC.

The Chicago angle I would think is about playing for a good, young, famous club with a huge following. The Seattle angle I'd think is about following in Ichiro's footsteps and playing as close to home as possible in a city with a large Japanese-American footprint and culture. Really just guessing though, nobody knows his motivations.


Oddly, the studies I've seen have suggested that this is not the case (and it's one reason why flying east is so much harder than flying west).


I had to make two 6.5 hour flights to the SE from the PNW this year and it was brutal. I couldn't sleep until 3AM without serious booze and I couldn't wakeup at 8am without serious coffee. Luckily it was a family reunion and wedding so on both trips those substances were served in plenty.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 06:47 PM (#5586089)
Direct non stop flight times, in hours: minutes

Sea - Tokyo 10:20
SFO - Tokyo 10:55
LAX - Tokyo 11:55
SD -- Tokyo 12:10
Chi -- Tokyo 13:20
DFW- Tokyo 13:45
JFK - Tokyo 14:30

Keep in mind that it's not just the travel time, it's also the time zone changes, and somewhat ironically this works in reverse, against the west coast.

The body take approximately 1 day for each hour of time zone difference to completely turn around. You might be able to sleep through the night the first night, due to exhaustion. But after that it's a series of odds wake up times, hitting walls in the afternoon, getting a second wind, only to crash again immediately after dinner and then wake up at 2 AM. It really takes at least 1-2 weeks to "feel 100% right".

Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of New York, and of course 17 hours ahead of the west coast.


But given an MLB schedule, he's making that trip what, twice a year? 4 times if he leaves for the ASB.

There really aren't any breaks in the MLB schedule long enough to go to Japan.
   36. madvillain Posted: December 04, 2017 at 07:26 PM (#5586101)
There really aren't any breaks in the MLB schedule long enough to go to Japan.


I'd think it's as much about how easily his family and friends get to him as it is him getting to them in Japan.

How many direct flights are there from Japan to any big west coast city? I'd hazard a guess quite a few more than to Chicago or NYC.
   37. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 04, 2017 at 07:35 PM (#5586104)
How many direct flights are there from Japan to any big west coast city? I'd hazard a guess quite a few more than to Chicago or NYC.


How many do there have to be? Seems to me that more than 1 is sufficient.
   38. Greg Pope Posted: December 04, 2017 at 07:37 PM (#5586105)
The body take approximately 1 day for each hour of time zone difference to completely turn around. You might be able to sleep through the night the first night, due to exhaustion. But after that it's a series of odds wake up times, hitting walls in the afternoon, getting a second wind, only to crash again immediately after dinner and then wake up at 2 AM. It really takes at least 1-2 weeks to "feel 100% right".

This is highly dependent on the person. I have never experienced any of that, myself, but I have traveled with people who have. One guy I travel with for work is a wreck for about 3 days when we go to Europe.

Me, no matter where I travel, I stay up until about 9:00 PM on the day that I land, then go to bed. I can't sleep more than about 9-10 hours no matter what, so I wake up the next morning, and it's just a regular day. I think I'm just really sensitive to sunlight. My body knows it's supposed to be awake. I've traveled from Chicago to Japan, Australia, Iceland, England, France, Turkey, etc. with absolutely zero jet lag issues.
   39. shoewizard Posted: December 04, 2017 at 07:39 PM (#5586106)
I noticed there were at least 8 non stops a day from Chicago. I think JFK had at least 6. There are plenty of flights.
   40. Astroenteritis Posted: December 04, 2017 at 08:39 PM (#5586115)
Well, the Astros are in the AL too (and no, it still doesn't feel right).


And they've got the pennant to prove it!

I've wondered if the Rangers might make an effort to sign both Ohtani and Darvish, assuming that would be a selling point for both of them.
   41. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 04, 2017 at 11:31 PM (#5586144)
Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs


Mariners - probably talked to Ichiro about them, plus their history of signing Japanese players/pitchers.
Padres - his team (Nippon Ham Fighters) had shared their spring training facilities with the Padres the last two seasons, and Hideo Nomo works in the front office for Padres
Angels - chance to play with Trout/Pujols?
Dodgers - Made it to World Series and signed first major Japanese star
Giants - West coast team, I guess...
Rangers - Darvish might have talked up the team and they have the most bonus money available
Cubs - Young team that has made it to the NLCS three years in a row (and won the World Series recently)

I have to think the rank of most likely to least likely to land Ohtani:

1. Mariners (50%)
2. Rangers (25%)
3. Padres (15%)
4. Cubs (5%)
5. Dodgers/Angels/Giants (combined 5%)
   42. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 04, 2017 at 11:32 PM (#5586145)
Direct non stop flight times, in hours: minutes . . .

As others have noted, Ohtani isn't flying back to Japan during the season, so it is a bit perplexing why this is much of a factor. I thought maybe it might be easier for folks in Japan to seem him on TV, but that doesn't seem to work either.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:49 AM (#5586162)
And they've got the pennant to prove it!

I suppose this must have been talked about a lot (I saw almost none of the WS) but this is the first time it occurred to me that the Astros have won a pennant in both leagues.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:59 AM (#5586166)
Here's a cool Ohtani stat ... for 2016-17, he's drawn 78 walks while giving up just 64. He also has a 30/6 HR/HRA ratio. That's roughly in line with Ruth's 49/9 ratio for his Boston years.
   45. jayjay Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:29 AM (#5586177)
When can he sign an extension?
   46. Astroenteritis Posted: December 05, 2017 at 08:32 AM (#5586208)
I suppose this must have been talked about a lot (I saw almost none of the WS) but this is the first time it occurred to me that the Astros have won a pennant in both leagues.


And now Milwaukee is on the clock to claim a pennant in both leagues.
   47. Greg Pope Posted: December 05, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5586215)
He has to be signed to the standard rookie player contract. He will make the minimum his first 2 years, at least.

So, after the first 2 years the team can give him whatever it wants? Are teams allowed to promise him huge raises? Obviously not binding, but it's not against the rules, is it?

The Cubs and Dodgers could be promising him $20M/year from years 3-6 then.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:02 AM (#5586220)
It is against the rules , and a suspicious extension could be voided by the league.
   49. Rusty Priske Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:15 AM (#5586229)
I honestly thought Toronto would be on his shortlist simply because the U.S. has become such a political garbage fire.

I know that I wouldn't want to move there.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:28 AM (#5586235)
So, after the first 2 years the team can give him whatever it wants? Are teams allowed to promise him huge raises? Obviously not binding, but it's not against the rules, is it?

The Cubs and Dodgers could be promising him $20M/year from years 3-6 then.


No. After year 2/3 they go into the arb process.
   51. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5586238)
Team: "We'd like to reward your play with a salary commensurate with your performance."

Manshoviks: "Nyet! Back on plantation boy!"
   52. Greg Pope Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5586257)
After year 2/3 they go into the arb process.

Is this set by the agreement between MLB and NPB, then? Because minor league players sign extensions all the time. As do first and second year major league players. And it seems like some of the Cuban players got contracts that only lasted 4 years and then the teams were not allowed to offer them arbitration.
   53. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:02 AM (#5586261)
Is this set by the agreement between MLB and NPB, then? Because minor league players sign extensions all the time. As do first and second year major league players.
He can sign an extension during those first 2 years, but if it's for $20m a year in exchange for nothing in return for the team, it is likely to be voided and the team punished - as everyone will know it was part of an against-the-rules agreement.

Do minor-leaguers really sign extensions? Jon Singleton is the only one I can remember, and he was called up basically the day he signed his.

I think the 4-year deals to Cuban players and others are no longer allowed.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5586264)
Is this set by the agreement between MLB and NPB, then? Because minor league players sign extensions all the time. As do first and second year major league players. And it seems like some of the Cuban players got contracts that only lasted 4 years and then the teams were not allowed to offer them arbitration.

No side deals are allowed. He is controlled for the full 6 years of service time.

MLB has said any extension must be consistent with what other similarly situated players have gotten. So after 2 years, they could sign him to a $100M deal that buys out a year of FA, or something like that. They can't pay him anywhere close to market value, or the league will invalidate the deal.

The situation is absurdly stacked against Ohtani. That's why he's nuts to come over now rather than in 2 years. In 2 years, he can sign any deal he wants.
   55. bunyon Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5586292)
I don't know. If he goes 21-4 and hits 50 HR, what would arb be? You couldn't even calculate it. If they buy out one year of FA, my guess is they could give him as much money as they want. Everyone will know it was shady but I don't think they could punish him or the team without a huge PR hit.
   56. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5586296)
As long as ohtani plays well next year he can sign a gargantuan contract after 2018. Sure it won't be as large as a FA contract but he can still sign the largest pre FA contract in history and not have MLB stop it.
   57. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5586301)
I don't know. If he goes 21-4 and hits 50 HR, what would arb be? You couldn't even calculate it. If they buy out one year of FA, my guess is they could give him as much money as they want.
Well, the key is buying out a year of FA. And if he has a monster season in 2018, a huge extension won't look shady at all - but he wouldn't need a secret pre-signing agreement to get that extension.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:40 AM (#5586306)
I don't know. If he goes 21-4 and hits 50 HR, what would arb be? You couldn't even calculate it.

C'mon, let's be a little bit realistic.

Tim Lincecum won 2 Cy Young awards in his pre-arb years and got $9M, $14M, $18M, and $22M in his arb years. That's the reasonable maxc upside for Ohtani. Best case, through arb, Ohtani makes $65-70M over his first 6 years, rather than the $200M he'd get as a FA.

As long as ohtani plays well next year he can sign a gargantuan contract after 2018. Sure it won't be as large as a FA contract but he can still sign the largest pre FA contract in history and not have MLB stop it.

"Gargantuan" being half what he would get as a FA, and he'll have to sign away one or two more years of control. So, if he's awesome, he gets paid $125M over 8 years, vs. $200M+ for 6 years as a true FA.
   59. Greg Pope Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:40 AM (#5586309)
Do minor-leaguers really sign extensions? Jon Singleton is the only one I can remember, and he was called up basically the day he signed his.

That's the one I was thinking of. Rare (or even unique), but it shows it's not against the rules.

I think the 4-year deals to Cuban players and others are no longer allowed.

I did not know that.

MLB has said any extension must be consistent with what other similarly situated players have gotten. So after 2 years, they could sign him to a $100M deal that buys out a year of FA, or something like that. They can't pay him anywhere close to market value, or the league will invalidate the deal.

Got it.
   60. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5586332)
That's why he's nuts to come over now rather than in 2 years. In 2 years, he can sign any deal he wants.

If his sole interest is to maximize his earnings then it makes sense to wait. But if he wants to compete against the best now, and is content with earnings to set him up for life but not necessarily enough to buy an island, why wouldn't he come over now? I think he's smart to get here in his early 20's and get as much development time as possible. All of the Japanese players have come over as finished products, mostly past their peak. Ohtani will be the first to have a real chance of getting better while in the U.S.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5586343)
But if he wants to compete against the best now, and is content with earnings to set him up for life but not necessarily enough to buy an island, why wouldn't he come over now?

Because he's not set for life, and can't be for several years. He's fully exposed to ~2 seasons of injury/under-performance risk before he can get a "set for life" payday.

Why not spend that 2 years making $4-5M p.a. in Japan, where he already knows he is dominant, rather than making <$5M total in MLB?

25 is still plenty young to be starting an MLB career.
   62. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5586344)

Tim Lincecum won 2 Cy Young awards in his pre-arb years and got $9M, $14M, $18M, and $22M in his arb years. That's the reasonable maxc upside for Ohtani. Best case, through arb, Ohtani makes $65-70M over his first 6 years, rather than the $200M he'd get as a FA.


So you think there will be no inflation over 10 years later?

"Gargantuan" being half what he would get as a FA, and he'll have to sign away one or two more years of control. So, if he's awesome, he gets paid $125M over 8 years, vs. $200M+ for 6 years as a true FA.

Your point being what?
   63. The Good Face Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5586360)
Because he's not set for life, and can't be for several years. He's fully exposed to ~2 seasons of injury/under-performance risk before he can get a "set for life" payday.

Why not spend that 2 years making $4-5M p.a. in Japan, where he already knows he is dominant, rather than making <$5M total in MLB?

25 is still plenty young to be starting an MLB career.


He's young, he's strong, he's bursting with confidence, he's invincible. He's not interested in playing it safe, and probably figures that he'll wind up making a huge pile of money anyway, so why not chase his dreams? It's not the sort of decision I would make, but then I've never been in the shoes of an elite, world class baseball player.
   64. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5586373)
Chicago is kind of the odd team out there.


Good old small market Chicago
   65. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:37 AM (#5586385)
I've got to say, the way this "small market" thing has taken off was a phenomenal job of spin by Cashman. The only real small market team in the final 7 is SD, so maybe they're really the odd team in the group (even though we know what those reasons are).
   66. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5586400)
Because he's not set for life, and can't be for several years. He's fully exposed to ~2 seasons of injury/under-performance risk before he can get a "set for life" payday.

Why not spend that 2 years making $4-5M p.a. in Japan, where he already knows he is dominant, rather than making <$5M total in MLB?
Well, he'll be pretty close to set for life before that 2 years because he hasn't been playing for free in Japan; he'll get the bonus (relatively small, but still helps); he'll get proceeds from his salary; and he can probably get some endorsement money right away. In addition, the chance that he won't have any salary, anywhere, in year 3 is really small. His team won't non-tender him even if he gets Tommy John surgery.
   67. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5586403)
Good old small market Chicago

Come on...baby don't you want to go...
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5586407)

So you think there will be no inflation over 10 years later?


No. I think Ohtani won't win consecutive Cy Young awards.


Your point being what?


He's pissing away more than $100M for no reason besides ego. It's really dumb.
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5586409)
Well, he'll be pretty close to set for life before that 2 years because he hasn't been playing for free in Japan;

Right, but two more years of his Japanese salary would have him similarly "set".
   70. shoewizard Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5586440)
I think in all of this debate about money and location, and many calling Ohtani foolish, is that this young man has his own set of priorities.

He clearly wants to play in MLB, against the best competition in the world, right now. He doesn't want to wait. This is a really good sign, that he is super competitive and super confident. Mix those qualities with super talent, and a bit of luck with health, and it's the stuff all time greats are made of.

He is going to be wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, either way. He wants to get this show on the road !

He also clearly wants to play on the west coast, obviously,and despite Chicago and Texas being on the list, because he will probably have a better quality of life there, (by HIS standards, not everyone else) And he could change his mind about that later in his career once he has traveled around and spent more time in all the major league cities.



   71. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5586486)
Padres - his team (Nippon Ham Fighters) had shared their spring training facilities with the Padres the last two seasons,

Wait, Japanese teams have spring training in the US? Is more/better ham to fight here?
   72. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5586491)
They're not a bunch of guys from Nippon who fight hams. They're a bunch of fighters from Nippon Ham.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:32 PM (#5586500)
You're an odd fellow Shohei, but I must say you steam a good ham.
   74. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5586516)
Baseball players don't seem to make anything NEAR the endorsement money players in other sports do -- the lists I found via google don't have any MLB players in the top 50 and the top earners all seem to be in the ~3 mil range....

But - Ohtani would seem to be a special case in that I would have to imagine he's getting a stream from a market (i.e., Japan) most players don't tap (no idea what NPB rules so far as endorsements but regardless - I presume that as an MLBPA member, he do whatever he wants).

While even getting 5 mil in endorsements would zoom him immediately near - if not THE - top of the MLB totem pole (the list I found - from a year ago - had David Ortiz tops at 6 mil), that's probably not terribly out of the realm of possibilities.

   75. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 05, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5586577)
Why does a lack of desire for money correlate to a lack of intelligence?
   76. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 05, 2017 at 02:42 PM (#5586605)
Also how much is he really leaving on the table? Yu Darvish got a 6 year $60 million dollar contract. Assuming he gets a few million from the international free agent pool, is super 2 eligible and has 4 years of arbitration he will still do pretty well.
   77. JAHV Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5586630)
If Otani wants to come play in the United States, who are we to tell him he's making a bad decision? It's not like he's going to be poor on an MLB minimum wage.
   78. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:17 PM (#5586642)
Why does a lack of desire for money correlate to a lack of intelligence?

It absolutely doesn't. Or to ego.
   79. The Good Face Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5586655)
He's pissing away more than $100M for no reason besides ego. It's really dumb.


It's not necessarily ego. It could be as simple as wanting to achieve his lifelong dream; being a two-way player in MLB.* And not wanting to defer that dream for another two years when he can achieve it right now.

* I don't know if that's really his dream or not, but it's as plausible a reading as assuming he's acting out of ego.
   80. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5586658)
I think in all of this debate about money and location, and many calling Ohtani foolish, is that this young man has his own set of priorities


As I noted in an earlier thread on this subject, one of the least surprising things illustrated by Ohtani’s principled decision is how vehemently some people project their own selfishness, myopia, venality, and greed on to everyone else. Rather that view these traits as emblematic of their own moral shortcomings, they somehow manage to attribute clear evidence of their absence in others as the actual character flaw.

It’s actually a little embarrassing to read such fervent and unequivocal accusations, honestly.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5586660)
It's not necessarily ego. It could be as simple as wanting to achieve his lifelong dream; being a two-way player in MLB.* And not wanting to defer that dream for another two years when he can achieve it right now.

* I don't know if that's really his dream or not, but it's as plausible a reading as assuming he's acting out of ego.


So, poor impulse control, and an inability to delay gratification? I'll accept that.
   82. madvillain Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5586661)
His actions are...inscrutable.
   83. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5586688)
Assuming he gets a few million from the international free agent pool, is super 2 eligible and has 4 years of arbitration he will still do pretty well.


Isn't his best case to be on the MLB roster from day 1, and therefore be arb eligible in 2021 and FA eligible in 2024? If he's a super two, it means that he has less than three years of service time after spending three years in the US. The extra arb year replaces a FA year, not an automatic renewal year.

EDIT: IOW, if he's a super two he's not arb eligible until 2022 and not a FA until 2025.
   84. The Good Face Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:54 PM (#5586696)
So, poor impulse control, and an inability to delay gratification? I'll accept that.


The point of delaying gratification is that it gets you something you want that you wouldn't get if you hadn't delayed it. Otherwise it's just gratuitous self-denial. But Otani doesn't want to maximize his financial returns at this stage of his life; he wants to play MLB. He simply doesn't value money the way you do.
   85. Rally Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5586700)
Some of it is butthurt about him not giving the deal of a lifetime to the team that a fan would prefer. I think there is also a lot of people uncomfortable with him leaving so much money on the table for one lucky billionaire MLB owner to keep.

Let's say a doctor leaves a lot of money on the table by, instead of charging high fees to wealthy patients, does work to help impoverished children for little or no compensation. I don't think the same people would call him stupid for making $25 dollars for the work he could be making $25000 for. But MLB owners sure don't need another superstar getting only 20-40% (guesstimate once he goes through arbitration) of his market value.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5586704)
I think there is also a lot of people uncomfortable with him leaving so much money on the table for one lucky billionaire MLB owner to keep.


Exactly my issue. Even if it was the Yankees who received the largesse.

Let's say a doctor leaves a lot of money on the table by, instead of charging high fees to wealthy patients, does work to help impoverished children for little or no compensation. I don't think the same people would call him stupid for making $25 dollars for the work he could be making $25000 for. But MLB owners sure don't need another superstar getting only 20-40% (guesstimate once he goes through arbitration) of his market value.

Exactly. He's giving away the money for nothing. He's not helping the poor, he's not staying close to his family, he's not doing anything except playing baseball in a different league, and giving a billionaire a $100M gift.
   87. Rally Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5586705)
Isn't his best case to be on the MLB roster from day 1, and therefore be arb eligible in 2021 and FA eligible in 2024? If he's a super two, it means that he has less than three years of service time after spending three years in the US. The extra arb year replaces a FA year, not an automatic renewal year.


Yeah, only way he winds up as a super 2 is if the winner of the recruiting contest turns around and plays a service time game with him once the ink is dry on the contract.
   88. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5586716)
only way he winds up as a super 2 is if the winner of the recruiting contest turns around and plays a service time game


Or maybe if, gasp, he plays poorly and deserves to be demoted to the minors. People are acting like that couldn't possibly happen, but he's never played at this level and he missed a lot of time to injury last season.
   89. Baldrick Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:12 PM (#5586718)
So, poor impulse control, and an inability to delay gratification? I'll accept that.

I've said it before, but you are an exceedingly peculiar person.
   90. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5586730)
I've said it before, but you are an exceedingly peculiar person.
Yeah. While the process is interesting to me, and it's obviously not perfectly fair, the actual baseball on the field is the most interesting part of it for me. And some billionaire owner getting a break on a player acquisition won't sour me at all on that particular player.
   91. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5586731)
Yeah, only way he winds up as a super 2 is if the winner of the recruiting contest turns around and plays a service time game with him once the ink is dry on the contract.


Ok I get it now, he is a moron.
   92. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5586738)
25 is still plenty young to be starting an MLB career.

23 is better, particularly for someone intending to master both hitting and pitching at the ML level. I'd much have a 23 year-old power hitting prospect than a 25 year-old who's been teeing off of AAA pitching for the last few years.
   93. Tony S Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:39 PM (#5586748)
Why are we so mystified when an athlete -- or anyone, really -- makes a life decision based on something OTHER than what's best for him financially?

I don't make anywhere near pro athlete money, but there are certain parts of the country I would NEVER move to even if you doubled my salary.
   94. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5586752)
He's not pissing away 100 million.

First of all - there's the exact same chance he gets irreparably hurt 'waiting' in Japan (for another 4-5 mil per) as he is here in the US 'waiting' for arb. He's delaying it.

The only way he's actually pissing away 100 million is if he thinks he actually cannot make the leap from NPB to MLB or, he thinks fears he'll go kaput in a couple years.

Not trying to drag old OTP discussions into this for any other reason than I think it's a just a good parallel and it actually surprises me that you'd make this argument because of those prior discussions -

But in the past, I think you've expressed the opinion that college is "over-attended" (my words, not yours) - and I agree with you. It's an investment generally including debt - but even if not debt - time (i.e, a couple years). I don't think that solely applies to blue collar work - I could have stepped into my entry level job out of HS, at least, performing the work. Of course, getting your foot in the door when the description says "BA/BS required" is another matter, but it's still doable (summer internships, etc). Of course - I just have a job that became a career when I wasn't looking, not truly a passion that can also be a lucrative career - but I see it the same way.

If we can set aside whether it's silly or not (and why and etc) -- I think we'd all agree that someone with a college sheepskin is going to be in line for a higher starting salary than just a HS diploma. Fair or not, exceptions or not. But - you're almost invariably going to be 18 vs 21/22. If you know what you want to do, especially if that career choice is also your passion - why not get started? If you've had your fun and are ready to just get to it AND you're as good as you think you are - I think you're going to be in a better place with 4 years on the job than the person who waited on more optimal conditions at the starting line.

Certainly wasn't my cup of tea, but I'm neither a potentially generational talent in my field (despite what my annual self-reviews say) nor would I say that I'm especially passionate about my career (ditto).

   95. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5586769)
I've said it before, but you are an exceedingly peculiar person.

It's peculiar that I don't a billionaire being given a $100M gift after they specifically colluded to stack the deck against the guy?
   96. The Good Face Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:02 PM (#5586777)
Why are we so mystified when an athlete -- or anyone, really -- makes a life decision based on something OTHER than what's best for him financially?

I don't make anywhere near pro athlete money, but there are certain parts of the country I would NEVER move to even if you doubled my salary.


I don't think most of us are mystified. But historically athletes often, probably even usually, go for whoever is going to pay them the most. And that makes sense; they're in a ruthlessly competitive field, careers are short, and the threat of injury is constantly lurking; gotta make hay while the sun shines. So when a guy seemingly leaves 9 figures on the table it raises eyebrows.
   97. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5586794)
He's not pissing away 100 million.

First of all - there's the exact same chance he gets irreparably hurt 'waiting' in Japan (for another 4-5 mil per) as he is here in the US 'waiting' for arb. He's delaying it.

The only way he's actually pissing away 100 million is if he thinks he actually cannot make the leap from NPB to MLB or, he thinks fears he'll go kaput in a couple years.


I don't think this is correct. As I understand it, by coming over now Ohtani is putting himself under team control for the next 6 years. He's entitled to salary arbitration for the final 3 or 4 years of that period depending on whether he qualifies for "Super 2" status, and he might be able to sign a deal that buys out his arbitration years and maybe some of his subsequent years of free agency. But he'll almost certainly make a lot less during these years than he would if he signed a true free agent contract at age 25.

While it is true that his chances of getting irreparably hurt in the next two years are probably more or less the same whether he's playing in Japan or in the US, there's also a risk -- non-trivial, since he's a pitcher -- that he gets badly hurt somewhere between years 3 and 6 and therefore never gets a true free agent payday.
   98. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5586802)
Why not spend that 2 years making $4-5M p.a. in Japan, where he already knows he is dominant,


Maybe he's just bored and wants that ultimate challenge.

He's Japanese, maybe the quest for the almighty dollar isn't as ingrained in the culture? I don't really know, but I sure as heck am not going to judge him or call him stupid etc.

And yeah, maybe he does like fish tacos...San Diego here he comes!

   99. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:45 PM (#5586819)
Ohtani is putting himself under team control for the next 6 years. He's entitled to salary arbitration for the final 3 or 4 years of that period depending on whether he qualifies for "Super 2" status


Again if he's a super two, it means the team gets an extra year of control. Yes, they'll have to pay close to market for that year in arbitration, but they'll still have him for seven years instead of six. Nobody gets four years of arb unless their team gets seven years of control.
   100. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:50 PM (#5586829)

It's peculiar that I don't a billionaire being given a $100M gift after they specifically colluded to stack the deck against the guy?


There's nothing peculiar about wanting it (I'm assuming want is the missing word there). The problem is you're going way past wanting it.
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