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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Scouting top contenders to sign Shohei Ohtani | MLB.com

A nice look at the teams with the best chances of landing Ohtani.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2017 at 09:07 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shohei ohtani

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   1. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 29, 2017 at 07:41 AM (#5582467)
He’d be a good fit for the Yankees, and obviously as the most popular and successful team in the history of baseball they’ll present him with ample opportunity to supplement his meager MLB-imposed slave wages with market-driven endorsement fees. Of course the Yankees would stand to benefit too, as adding a talent of this level at the artificially-suppressed salary will help the team improve while avoiding the onerous penalties the league imposes on franchises that pay fair market rates to too many players. It’s a pity that Ohtani is forced to sacrifice fair compensation at the altar of the plantation-style economic system favored by Budshoviks and Manshoviks alike, but maybe something good will come out of it for once.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5585587)
It seems like the teams still with a chance are: the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs. It would be pretty wild if the Giants paired an Ohtani signing with a Stanton trade. As far as the Angels go, I'm sure that they're kicking themselves (again) about the Pujols contract, given that Ohtani was a DH in Japan. Or maybe they can fit both on the roster for a while.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 04, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5585611)
I'm rather surprised to see that 4 of the 7 teams on the list are NL teams.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5585617)
Me too. I have mixed feelings. Although I feel the AL gives him the most realistic path towards two-way play, if he were to pull it off in the NL it would be ####### legendary.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5585781)
New York Yankees
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 04, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5585783)
So far, it looks like Ohtani has prioritized lifestyle choices rather than what a team might be able to do to maximize his chances of achieving two-way stardom. I thought the best environment for Ohtani would be a team with an open DH slot and enough pitching depth to accommodate whatever disruption to his starting pitching role was caused by his dual usage. Scoring enough runs to win the games he starts would be nice, too. Those considerations don't seem to have counted in the cut down process - 5 of the 7 remaining suitors finished 20 - 40 games out of first, and most don't seem to have much in the way of non-Ohtani ways of improving. Supposed front-runner Seattle is talking of moving 38-year old Nelson Cruz to the outfield to accommodate Ohtani at DH, but that seems like less than an ideal arrangement. It's his choice, of course, but I'll be curious if his final decision gives more weight to baseball factors or continues to prioritize the off-the-field aspects.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: December 04, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5585797)
But it's worth noting that Cruz only has 1 more year in Seattle under his contract, whereas Ohtani would be there much longer. I know he was a DH recently in Japan, but I guess there's a chance he wants to play OF some of the time. So hypothetically, in that one year with overlap, they could fit both while "only" exposing Cruz as an outfielder for 50ish games.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5585805)
5 of the 7 remaining suitors finished 20 - 40 games out of first, and most don't seem to have much in the way of non-Ohtani ways of improving


I wonder if there's a justification here for wanting to be on a bad team. I think you're analyzing the "baseball factors" incorrectly.

The better the team, the more likely that those promises of 400 ABs disappear. The Cubs have about 6 outfielders already, all of whom might outperform Ohtani next year - how quickly would they renege if they're competing for a playoff slot and Ohtani's stumbling in his first taste of American pitching? His two-way player dream could be dead by July. We don't know if he cares about stardom at all, but I think it's fairly obvious that a lesser team gives him a greater chance to succeed as a maverick.

When LeBron went to the Heat he was criticized by many for apparently shrinking from the chance to be The Man on a team. The idea was that the real way to build a legacy was to carry a team on one's shoulders. That joining a super team was too easy, that it didn't represent a real accomplishment. He might be of the same frame of mind.

And then there's this other idea in American sports that players that sign with winners are doing something commendable, and players that do not are mercenaries. I think it's wrongheaded. Ohtani still has a lot of hard work in front of him ... he's not nearly developed as a hitter yet, and pitching in the majors is tough no matter how good you are. I understand if he wants to limit distractions and focus on his own craft.

Here's a question: You're an MLB rookie. Would you rather have 3,000 hits and win zero championships, or 2,000 and win a couple? I'd probably take the former. Although winning is the point of it all, in the latter case you're basically limiting your talent or health (and earnings) in favor of some good luck with your teammates.


*edited multiple times for clarity
   9. JJ1986 Posted: December 04, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5585812)
So far, it looks like Ohtani has prioritized lifestyle choices rather than what a team might be able to do to maximize his chances of achieving two-way stardom. I thought the best environment for Ohtani would be a team with an open DH slot and enough pitching depth to accommodate whatever disruption to his starting pitching role was caused by his dual usage. Scoring enough runs to win the games he starts would be nice, too. Those considerations don't seem to have counted in the cut down process - 5 of the 7 remaining suitors finished 20 - 40 games out of first, and most don't seem to have much in the way of non-Ohtani ways of improving. Supposed front-runner Seattle is talking of moving 38-year old Nelson Cruz to the outfield to accommodate Ohtani at DH, but that seems like less than an ideal arrangement. It's his choice, of course, but I'll be curious if his final decision gives more weight to baseball factors or continues to prioritize the off-the-field aspects.
On the bright side, your Yankees Ohtani jersey will probably be a collectible.
   10. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 04, 2017 at 02:16 PM (#5585820)
Everything is speculation so far, even the reasons certain teams were eliminated. Everyone is guessing. That makes reporters nervous, it would appear. I have no idea why any individual person would even begin to think they have any standing to make any sort of value judgment on his thinking or reasoning, since it's completely unknown. It's not going to stop people, and plenty of people are going to continue to make assess of themselves.

I'm sure eventually we'll get some sort of explanation as to why he made his choice, any current speculation runs the risk of looking quite foolish.

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