The Shohani Ohtani Hot Stove League has taken a new turn as reports indicate that it has reduced its team roster to seven: the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Padres, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs. Those seven teams have been invited to meet with Ohtani and his representatives starting this week, with the final decision of Ohtani before December 21st.
The Japanese star that changes the franchise is officially on the market, and the teams are salivating. But there are questions about his future bat and bidirectional.
Let's make the case of each of the seven finalists to put ink to the Japanese double-track superstar. We would try to choose favorites, but only a couple of days ago the Yankees would have been at the top of the list, so we're going to pass that for now.
Chicago Cubs: Like the Dodgers, they're limited to $ 300,000 in bonus money, but they can offer Ohtani a top-level winning franchise that needs only a starting ace to accompany all the young position players . Do not underestimate the ability of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to attract the guy they want, similar to when they hired Jon Lester as a free agent before the 2015 season. And no manager is willing to move players like Joe Maddon, so Ohtani could play in right field against right-handers with Jason Heyward going downtown.
Angels from Los Angeles: Come play with Mike Trout! All the advantages of playing on the West Coast and in Los Angeles, but with the DH option that can make it easier to use as a two-way player than it would be for the Dodgers. However, a big obstacle to that idea is Albert Pujols, but according to reports, Pujols is working to lose some weight this offseason, so with luck he can play more at first base (he played just six games there in 2017) . The other option would be to switch to Kole Calhoun to leave more space in the garden for Ohtani to play there when he does not pitch.
Los Angeles Dodgers: If culture is an important consideration for Ohtani, the Dodgers play in the city with the largest Japanese-American community in the continental United States. The Dodgers have successfully employed several Japanese pitchers in their history. The weather is nice, Dodger Stadium is a pitching park, and Los Angeles probably presents more marketing opportunities than the other finalists. Their biggest sale over the other West Coast teams, however: Come play for a winner. The Mariners, Giants, Angels and Padres finished under .500 in 2017. He can sign with the Dodgers and does not have to be the savior, knowing he is the No. 2 starter behind Clayton Kershaw.
San Diego Padres: If Ohtani wants to play on the West Coast and in a smaller media market – as Brian Cashman of the Yankees warned when he said that the Yankees were not on the Ohtani list – then such Once San Diego jumps to the top of the list. list. The weather is excellent and the stadium is the best. The Padres also have nothing to lose by treating Ohtani in the gardens; just outside of Manuel Margot, his outfield is barely in stone.
San Francisco Giants: The Giants have the full advantage of the West Coast, a beautiful stadium and considering they had the worst field production in the majors in 2017, It's the rare National League team that could use it in the gardens on a regular basis. A recent article in a Japanese newspaper reported that Ohtani preferred to play on a team without another Japanese pitcher. If true, that could give them an advantage over the Dodgers, who have Kenta Maeda on their list. Also, he could have a good time practicing home run batting with Madison Bumgarner.
Seattle Mariners: In a recent interview, general manager Jerry Dipoto said the Mariners spent the last year preparing their presentation for Ohtani. According to reports, they are ready to unleash the press of the full court, asking current players if they are available to meet with Ohtani this week in Los Angeles. Dipoto is also the general manager who has publicly announced that the team would be willing to allow DH Ohtani between the openings, with Nelson Cruz sliding into the gardens (in addition, Cruz is a free agent after 2018). The Mariners have had at least one Japanese player on the list since 1998, so they can sell Ohtani in their history with Japanese players while playing in a less intrusive media market.
Texas Rangers: They do not play on the West Coast, but the Rangers have other positives, including their story with Yu Darvish. Of the seven finalists, they have the most extra money to spend at $ 3.535 million and Ohtani has said that the Rangers, Dodgers and Giants were the three teams that showed the most interest in him when he was 18 and that he came out of the top . school. They are desperate for the rotation aid and have enough list flexibility to give Ohtani some at-bats DH.