Ohtani's questionnaire is legendary now, part of the growing tradition surrounding the 23-year-old Japanese star of the same name who will be flooded with suitors when officially available to major league teams. time in the next week. Shohei Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, sent that questionnaire to the 30 teams, requesting their releases with a ready-made template that included five questions, according to an Associated Press report. Ohtani is subject to international signature rules, and no team can offer you a bonus of more than $ 3.5 million to sign. The way in which teams are presented in these questionnaires and more likely to be more influential than money, and the relatively low cost means that no team will have a total price to pursue the former star of Nippon Professional Baseball.
But the Nationals are as close to limited prices as anyone, limited in the amount of money they can commit to Ohtani because of the fact that they blew their international bonus in 2016, and therefore can commit only $ 300,000 in one Bonus for signing anyone who signs this season. Even so, the Nationals made a presentation in response to the Ohtani questionnaire, according to a person familiar with the situation who said the team will present their answers in English and Japanese. His badistant for international exploration Taisuke Sato translated the complete presentation for the consumption of Ohtani.
The Nationals had to make a pitch to Ohtani. Each team is expected to do so. Each team could use a right-handed pitcher with a fastball that hits 102, or a left-handed hitter with what has been described as a prodigious power. At Ohtani's price (or perhaps at any price), no team could justify rejecting an opportunity to acquire both at once. The fact that they have built a presentation for him does not necessarily mean a big push.
Although it seems unlikely that money will be the deciding factor for Ohtani, the difference between the $ 300,000 that the Nationals can offer and the more than $ 3 million that other teams can offer seems to reduce your list a little If you limit your concerns to the questions asked in the Balelo questionnaire, the Nationals may also be at a disadvantage compared to some of your fellow suitors.
The first question, according to that report in the Associated Press, was simply to ask the team's badessment of Ohtani's hitting and throwing ability. These responses will vary from one team to another, but it seems unlikely that they will differ much from nationals. Perhaps some teams will be able to show Ohtani a clear path for playing time, perhaps as a designated hitter or as a part-time outfielder. The Nationals have no vacancies in their starting lineup, but they can certainly say they have room in their rotation, given that their fifth starter position is currently unresolved.
The second question asked for "an explanation of the player's development of the team, doctors' training philosophies and player performance." Here, the Nationals could present a convincing case, as they reviewed their medical staff and health programs. players by doubling their investment in them before the 2016 season. They built that new medical staff with the latest international trends, hiring Harvey Sharman away from Leeds United in the English Premier League, one of the highest profile leagues in all professional sports
The next question was: a description of spring training, minor league facilities and major leagues. While many of the minor league facilities of the Nationals are famous, they can boast a new spring training house and a stadium that is not yet a decade old.
Next, the Nationals had to describe their plans for Ohtani's cultural badimilation, and "how the team plans to integrate Ohtani into their organization." Since a Japanese player under Mike Rizzo has never been signed, the Nationals will be in the Same situation as many teams when it comes to these questions. While the Mariners, the Rangers and the Yankees can present plans they have executed with Japanese stars in the past, the Nationals' plans will have to be all hypothetical. Maybe that puts you at a disadvantage.
Finally, the questionnaire includes a question about the general convenience of the city and the franchise "along with any other relevant characteristic of the & # 39; market & # 39;". Here, the Nationals can compete. Forbes rated them as the eighth most valuable franchise in baseball in 2017. They are consistently ranked in the top third of the game in terms of payroll. They have reached the playoffs in four of the last six years. They are loaded with star power in one of the most important cities in the country, with brands like Under Armor nearby to obtain natural sponsorship opportunities. The Nationals probably pointed out all those things in their answers to that question.
But whatever the Nationals wrote in their answers, the fact that they wrote them should not be taken for more than it is: due diligence, a truism. It still seems unlikely that they will make a strong push for Ohtani, but they will not miss the pursuit altogether.
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