The big MLB news of the night is “Japan’s Babe Ruth”, 23 year old Shohei Ohtani is heading to America to play in the MLB next season. Now in his 5th season with the Nippon Ham Fighters Otani put up a 2.60 ERA through 522 1/3 innings and hit 47 homers with a .286/.359/.505 slash line in 389 games. Not bad for a 23 year old. Otani profiles as a top of the line rotation staple despite his considerable hitting ability, much like 2017 Draftees Hunter Greene and Brendan McKay. There is little doubt Otani would profile as the #1 prospect in baseball right now if he was in the minors, and is forgoing at minimum $100 Million Dollars by coming over as an amateur free agent this winter and not waiting until next winter when he is 25 and can be exposed to a Jose Abreu/Yoenis Cespedes type deal. Here is video of Otani’s slider just destroying Japanese league hitters.
— パ・リーグTV公式 (@PacificleagueTV) September 12, 2017
My Japanese isn’t great but I believe that translates to “2:53 clip of our boy Shohei absolutely shoving #lovefighters”
Also who the hell is this CREATURE? That guy is 6’8 300 and not a pound or inch less. Lets get him in the MLB while were at it.
Anyways, Otani should command the maximum signing bonus available so teams who are restricted to the maximum $300K signing pool will be a bit behind the 8 ball. Those teams include
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Atlanta Braves
- Chicago Cubs
- Houston Astros
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Chicago White Sox
- San Francisco Giants
- Washington Nationals
Some pretty big names listed there. Some of the big names who AREN’T restricted to a $300K signing bonus
- New York Yankees
- Texas Rangers (Darvish+Otani package?)
- Boston Red Sox
- Los Angeles Angels
Way to early to tell, but it should be an incredibly interesting Free Agency for Ohtani with money playing little to no factor. The early leaders appear to be the Yankees and Rangers.