Larry Stone of the Times has a piece on "the most intriguing baseball player in the world" and an exhortation to Jerry Dipoto to get creative, though the closest we get to a Dipoto quote is a mention that Dipoto was at an Ohtani game.
Incredibly, Ohtani is going to pass up a $200-300M deal in order to take the league minimum ... or close to it, for three years. Come to think of it, it's just that third year he's sacrificing, right, in comparison to staying in Japan for two more years. MLB teams can cut international players their free agency after three years, if I'm not mistaken.
Stone points out a few concrete things going in the M's favor:
1. They don't play in the NL (Ohtani likes to DH three* days, take a day off, then pitch).
2. The Houston Astros are out of international pool money. (Would this affect Ohtani? Do he or the Ham Fighters even know what currency is?)
3. The Mariners could "make a run at signing Yu Darvish," Ohtani's icon and the reason he wears #11.
Wow. Now that last is not a bad suggestion, wouldja say :- ) and maybe here's where we get the 4-D chess accusations about the M's staying out on Verlander... I like it. "If your locker is next to Darvish's wouldja play for us? DARVISH'S DEAL IS EFFECTIVELY FREE FIRST THREE YEARS
Here's a national MLB.com piece on Ohtani. It's got the Cubs first, but the author essentially brings his own smoke-and-mirrors (not the Cubs' ideas) to the question of Ohtani's hitting.
The Yankees and Rangers are 2 and 3 in the rankings, with the Mariners 4th. Jim Duquette in the middle video especially narrows in on those three teams. It's a rather esoteric note that Ohtani's left-handedness would work at Safeco in this lineup, but we'll take what we can get. Objectively speaking, I fancy the Yankee$ chance to pitch Ohtani that he won't have to move in three years because they'll lay out the $300M. But another writer did point out the Ichiro factor.
We saw some scouting reports along the lines of Ohtani being an explosive-but-unreliable offensive player, with 60-70 power and 60+ speed but poor contact, so Curtis Granderson makes a very apt comparison. What's a little odd is that such a player would play NO outfield at all.
You gotta like his pitching length above, though. When does Carter Capps teach him how to step in front of the rubber?