Shohei Ohtani has been one of the hottest topics this off-season, along with Giancarlo Stanton, of course. However, unlike Stanton, essentially every team is in on Ohtani. Recently, his agent asked all teams interested in the “Japanese Babe Ruth” to submit presentations that addressed seven points of importance.
The points are listed below, courtesy of Bill Shaiken of the Los Angeles Times:
- An evaluation of Shohei’s talent as a pitcher and/or a hitter;
- Player development, medical, training and player performance philosophies and capabilities;
- Major League, Minor League, and Spring Training facilities;
- Resources for Shohei’s cultural assimilation;
- A detailed plan for integrating Shohei into the organization;
- Why the city and franchise are a desirable place to play;
- Relevant marketplace characteristics.
Well it looks like a few teams are already out. On Sunday, Jon Heyman reported that the Twins, Red Sox, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Athletics are out on Shohei Ohtani.
dbacks are out, joining a's, yanks, mets, brewers, pirates, twins, red sox #Ohtani
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 4, 2017
It is especially surprising that the Yankees are out considering they were early favorites to land Ohtani. Here is what he had to say about it, courtesy of Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 4, 2017
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Shohei Ohtani is favoring the West Coast and smaller market teams. This is good for the Dodgers who are, obviously, on the West Coast. They are also in a smaller market than New York, though Los Angeles is not far behind.
In case you need a reminder as to why Shohei Ohtani is such a hot commodity, the 23-year old excels both on the mound and at the plate. In 2017 with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani had a slash line of .332/.403/.540. He also hit eight home runs in 2017, though his career high was 22 back in 2016. As a pitcher in 2017, Ohtani put up a 3.20 ERA and 1.263 WHIP in 25.1 innings. In 2016, Ohtani started 20 games and had an ERA of 1.86 and a WHIP of 0.957.
Being able to perform as a pitcher and hitter makes the American League and the designated hitter role seem very attractive. However, National League teams might be the better choice for Shohei Ohtani. Mike Petriello of MLB.com cited three reasons why the National League could offer a better experience, including pinch-hitting opportunities and consistent at-bats even if Ohtani became a full-time pitcher.
It’s looking good for the Dodgers’ chances of bring Shohei Ohtani to Los Angeles, but only time will tell! Do you think he’ll end up in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!
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