Home / Uncategorized / Are the Mariners favorites? Breaking the 7 teams in the Shohei Ohtani draw

Are the Mariners favorites? Breaking the 7 teams in the Shohei Ohtani draw

So who gets the next Babe Ruth?

Japanese star Shohei Ohtani has met with each of the seven finalists for his services over the past two days, including a meeting on Tuesday night in Los Angeles with the Seattle Mariners. Ohtani has until December 22 to finalize a contract, although the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ohtani prefers to make a decision before the winter meetings next week.

Here's why Ohtani is the most coveted major league acquisition of this season:

While Babe Ruth is the only player in Major League history to win 10 games and hit 10 homers in the same season ( 1918), Ohtani has done it twice in Japan.

And now he wants to do it in the big leagues. [19659006] Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has already praised the left-handed, 23-year-old left-hander.

Ohtani set a record in the Japanese League by throwing a 101.9 mph fastball, and his average fastball was 97.5 mph, according to Trackman data obtained by MLB.com.

He also won the 2016 Home Run Derby, once hitting a ball on the roof of the Tokyo Dome. The average speed of exit in its 31 balls of pursuit was of 94.3 mph, with an average of MLB of 91.2 mph.

He was the Most Valuable Player of the Pacific League in 2016, with a 10-4 record with 1.86 ERA and .322 batting with 22 homers. and 67 RBI.

His services are highly desired, and he has already reduced his list to the Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres. San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers.

So, what does Ohtani want in a Major League organization?

Reports have said that Ohtani would prefer to join a team without other Japanese players, to avoid distracting attention from them. And he would prefer to join a team that has not had a Japanese superstar in the past, just to avoid comparisons, reported John Shea of ​​the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here is a breakdown of each of the seven finalists (in alphabetical order)):


An AL team seems to have an advantage because Ohtani could be used as a DH. He has not played in the gardens since 2014, serving as a designated hitter with the Nippon Ham Fighters on days he did not pitch. But he is also extremely fast and has played the corner positions in the gardens.

The Cubs have a right fielder in Jason Heyward, but Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that they would mix to create space for Ohtani, moving Heyward to center field. Buster Olney, of ESPN, tweeted that, against the righties, Ben Zobrist could play the second and hitter with the lefties Kyle Schwarber, Ohtani and Heyward batting 5-7.

Team president Theo Epstein once recruited former Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to the Boston Red Sox.


They have Mike Trout.

That could be a selling point, especially since Ohtani is not expected to be the biggest star, or could at least have a player to measure himself with, although reports indicate that he would like to go to a team that will give him some time to let him take some hits as a hitter. [19659002] DH Albert Pujols and the four years, $ 114 million remaining in his contract could be a problem. Theoretically he could play first base as he did with the St. Louis Cardinals, but Pujols has appeared defensively only 34 times in the last two seasons.


They can offer a signing bonus of $ 300,000 and have already passed a transition from Japan to MLB with Kenta Maeda, using it in more than four days of rest in most of its beginnings last season. Ohtani may like that since the starting pitchers in Japan usually work about once a week.

But, again, according to the Chronicle report, he might not like to play on the same team as Maeda.

I would live abroad for the first time, and may prefer to play for a team in a market with a large Japanese community. The metropolitan area of ​​Los Angeles has the largest Japanese-American population in the United States. UU Outside of Honolulu. Seattle is No. 3 and San Francisco is No. 4.

And the Dodgers were the closest of the remaining teams to winning the World Series last year.


Some reports indicate them as the front -runner.

They were the final team to meet with Ohtani and have extensive Japanese ties in their main office, including former Dodgers scout director Logan White, former Dodgers coordinator of Asian operations Acey Kohrogi and former pitchers of the Dodgers Hideo Nomo and Takashi Saito. According to reports, Nomo's son is Ohtani's translator.

An explorer told Bill Allen of Kyodo News on Tuesday that Ohtani had a lot of structure with the Fighters and that he might be looking for that, "for a team with a solid plan." "He has lived at the team's training facility in Sapporo and has rarely ventured out," Allen reported. So the central office full of Japanese parents could seem more attractive.

And GM Parents A.J. Preller was a driving force to bring Darvish to the Rangers.


The Giants have reached an agreement with another outfielder: Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, although the slugger needs to approve. [19659002] Stanton combined with Ohtani?

Ohtani's first meeting was on Monday with the Giants and his contingency included All-Star receiver Buster Posey. The Chronicle reported that Ohtani spoke about Posey during his meeting with the Giants and said the receiver has "great aura." The Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, was also there and had "good and carefree exchanges." And Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens speaks Japanese.

Every year the Giants honor Masanori Murakami, who is the first player born in Japan in the history of baseball.


Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that several MLB GMs believed that the Mariners were the "Well Defined Forwards" for Ohtani.

However, many recently believed that the Yankees were the favorites. So take that for what it's worth.

The Mariners met with Ohtani and his representatives on Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to reports. And Dipoto, exploration director Tom Allison, Pacific Rim Antony Suzuki's liaison assistant and Japan-based explorer Manny Noto traveled to Japan in September to watch Ohtani play.

Entering the week, the Mariners had $ 1.55 million available in international slot money. although Dipoto acquired more by changing catcher David Banuelos to the Twins, an agreement announced on Wednesday.

There is certainly a success story with the Japanese players who are transitioning to MLB in Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki at the forefront, but also Kaz Sasaki, Kenji Johjima and signing Hisashi Iwakuma again for a minor league contract. However, maybe everything goes against the Mariners.

Ohtani would be familiar with the club, as the Combatants trained in Arizona at the Peoria Sports Complex, which Seattle shares with the Padres.

And maybe Tacoma could be a point of sale? If he got hurt (as he was during much of 2017 with ankle and thigh injuries) he could rehabilitate himself with the Rainiers on the same street, with the SeaTac airport no further. Only Texas offers a Triple-A team with such proximity (Round Rock).


No outstanding team can offer both money. The Rangers have $ 3.53 million available, although money does not seem to be the priority for Ohtani. But Texas does not have a state income tax either.

The Rangers also have some flexibility in DH and in right field. They would prefer that Shin-Soo Choo be in DH, reported Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which could open the right field for Ohtani on occasion. He also reported that the Rangers are talking about possibly having a rotation of six men in 2018, which means they would probably include Ohtani in that.

They sent a team of eight people on Tuesday afternoon, led by co-owner Ray Davis. General manager Jon Daniels and manager Jeff Bannister. The area might not be so West Coast, but it worked well for Yu Darvish. He has a house in Dallas and considers Dallas to be his home away from home, Star-Telegram reported. And DFW Airport has direct flights to Japan.

The Rangers built an additional break in the first seasons of Darvish to help him pass and he could plan similarly for Ohtani.

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