NW Sports on Shohei Otani
goooooood article


Shannon Drayer puts up a dense, to-the-point Greg Johns-like report of the latest on Ohtani.  It is fact-based, very Seattle-favorable, and well worth the read (not that these are Johns' distinguishing characteristics).



1.  Ohtani isn't kidding around about 500 at-bats - hitting even on days he starts.  One scout says "of course" every team will promise him an everyday spot in the lineup; Drayer opines that it will come down to the team's credibility.  All NL teams then face the problem that they're asking Ohtani to play a new position.

Dr. D sez, the Mariners could go with Haniger-Heredia in CF, give DH to Ohtani with Nelson Cruz in RF, and then inform Ohtani that is is his own call if and when he feels comfortable in RF.  Juicy, no?

Sounds kludgy we know, but special circumstances require bend.  Figure on Ohtani being in the lineup daily if he gets here.  Dr. D puts him "on a hand," that being Curtis Granderson - 60-75 PWR, 60 SPD, maybe not a lot else.


2.  Japan thinks very highly of the Mariners' Japanese support staff.  An important catch by Drayer, and obviously that's the case.


3.   Dipoto has come out publicly with the idea that there will be more P/H combos in baseball.  This caught Shannon wayyyy off guard, but two words.  Micah Owings.  (Where's the mic drop .gif.  Anybody?  Anybody?)


4.  Ohtani is VERY "low-key", to the point of living in team dorms, which is one more thing pointing to Seattle.


5.  Dr. D had been scared about the posting agreement, but at this point it looks like Ohtani will be "grandfathered" into the previous deal with nobody's objections.


Or not,





Now I know there are new rules under this new MLB / player agreement... BUT so what?

Several teams for years broke the last set of rules, and some did it more than once. Why not do it again? It worked in the past, and the benefit should be that the team that does it again gets to spend excessively this international period as well... so the haul this year could be enormous.

If I understand the current rules properly, a team breaking the rules loses some draft choices and pays fine that is equal to what they over spend the cap by.... so sign Otani for $10M signing bonus, and pay a fine of $15M to MLB.... and again if the team then spends another $20M on other international free agents... the team gets Otani and the top picks at the international level for this year for 6+ years in exchange for blowing off a draft or two and a total of $70M.

Chapman got a lot more than $70M and it was not for 6 years... 5 years for $86M with an opt out clause after 3 years to be exact... and the Chapman outcome is basically the WORST you can expect to get. Then add in Otani's potential as a hitter, and all the other prospects you can get with very little resistance from other teams... WHY wouldn't a team like Detroit or the Marlins do that today? 

If I am missing something, please let us know.

If I am correct, then Jerry... go spend some money!!!

*** EDIT ***

It turns out that the new collective bargaining agreement states that NO TEAM may go over their allocated funds for either the international or Rule 4 draft. Thus, the scenario I wrote about is not possible, as the commissioner would veto the signing.

*** EDIT ***

Sports Fan's picture

They also lose the player, who becomes a free agent again. See Boston a year or two ago.


Sports fan... you are correct that the new collective bargaining agreement does not allow teams to spend more than their allocated funds for International or Rule 4 drafts. This is a MAJOR change in the agreement from the prior 8+ years where the only penalties were fines and draft picks.

However, Boston was caught cooking their books and making side deals between players... where the Red Sox claimed all 5 players were getting less than the $300K limit they had since they broke the rules just 2 years before, BUT what really happened was 2 players got over $500K and the other 3 players only got $100K each. This is not what I was supporting the M's or other teams should do. 


What do y'all think about a pitcher who demands to hit on his off days who isn't Babe Ruth?  Even if Ohtani is a fine pitcher, I'm not sure if replacing our beloved Boomstick with a try out bat you are married to is a good idea.  Then again, his .3/.4/.5 and change triple slash line might work out fine.


His profile is not too horrendous for K/BB...the Japanese players who fail here offensively tend to be guys with bad Japanese K/BB rates or with no special skills (who scratch out decent-looking numbers against the weaker pitchers). Ohtani is neither of those things.


Hey, if he comes to Seattle, he can live quietly in his choice of bedrooms at my place.

The kids are grown and gone.  :)


Get him an apartment at Uwajimaya Villlage. Close to work. Close to food. Would undoubtedly increase the number of young ladies shopping at Uwajimaya Store. Maybe the Moriguchi's would help the Ms recruitment?

Seriously, no other franchise has anything like the Uwajimaya complex so close to their ballpark. JapantownSF and AT&T park are 1/2 way across town, and the International Districts in other cities are similarly removed. 

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