Monday, November 27, 2017


The Yankees and anyone else interested in signing Shohei Ohtani all want to woo Otani and it's not going to be easy. This sales pitch will also have to come in writing and not just in English but also in Japanese. Yikes! This sounds like one hell of a homework assignment.

While some of us were out shopping on Black Friday for those holiday gifts, the commissioner's office sent communication to all 30 teams from Ohtani's agent asking all interested teams to explain what role Ohtani would play on each team and what makes each team an attractive match for him. Details come from YAHOO! sports below:

"The memo from Nez Balelo, co-head of CAA Baseball, was distributed to all 30 teams by the commissioner’s office late Friday along with materials for the Dec. 1 vote on a new posting agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball. If the deal is approved, the 23-year-old is expected to be put up for bid later that day or the following day.

Balelo’s memo asks for a team to evaluate Ohtani’s talent as a pitcher and as a hitter; to explain its player development, medical training and player performance philosophies and facilities; to describe its minor league and spring training facilities; to detail resources for Ohtani’s cultural assimilation into the team’s city; to demonstrate a vision for how Ohtani could integrate into the team’s organization; and to tell Ohtani why the team is a desirable place to play.

Each team was asked to provide its answers in both languages as soon as possible. Clubs were told not to include any financial terms of a possible contract."

Photo: Getty Images
This is a very unusual request, but Ohtani is a very unique player and clearly interested in how he fits in with a team on a long term commitment. I actually dig this proposal. It's clear that Ohtani wants to play for a team that will allow him to pitch and hit and a wordy sales pitch isn't enough for him. He wants those words in writing too and when he makes a commitment to someone (it would be nice if it were the Yankees!) he wants an equal commitment in return.

I previously wrote that while the Texas Rangers have the most money to spent on Ohtani at $3,535,000 and the Yankees are right behind at $3.5 million the Seattle Mariners will fight hard to sign him. No other team has been as vocal about how they will give Ohtani time to pitch and hit as the Seattle Mariners.

Photo: Getty Images
GM Jerry Dipoto even said they would move Nelson Cruz between DH and the outfield as needed in order to give Ohtani more opportunities to hit, read more on that HERE.

So Ohtani's agent means business and Dipoto so far has the best pitch....but this is far from over. I just hope the Yankees go above and beyond on their homework assignment. Things are getting interesting. 

Are the Yankees still the favorite or do the Mariners win this with extra credit?

Stay tuned.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj

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