And The Winner Is….

shohei-ohtani-updates-on-where-he-will-sign

Drumroll please!

 

And the winner, of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, is….

 

Nobody yet. But stay tuned. The answer to everyone’s question is coming soon. At some point in the next 15 days to be exact. Ohtani’s window to negotiate with Major League teams closes at 11:59 P.M. EST, on December 22nd. Christmas will come early for 1 lucky MLB franchise. As of now, Ohtani has narrowed his choice to 7 teams:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Texas Rangers
  • Seattle Mariners

This list speaks volumes about Ohtani’s thought process:

Proximity To Home

Yes, Shohei Ohtani will be relocating to the United States of America to play MLB. However, it appears he would like to reside as close to his homeland of Japan as possible. Outside of the Cubs and Rangers, his prospective teams are located on the West coast.

Who’s Missing?

In skimming this list, you’ll also notice something glaring: The New York Yankees are missing!! I’m not saying this because I’m a Yankees’ fan, but I thought the Yankees would’ve been a great fit for Japan’s Babe Ruth. Last time I checked, Babe Ruth played for the Yankees. What better way to follow in the footsteps of the greatest baseball player in MLB history than to play for the same team??

Lack of Companionship

As you dig a little deeper into these teams, you’ll realize they lack something. None of these teams have a notable, Japanese star. Yu Darvish is a free agent, so he doesn’t play for the Dodgers. My educated guess is he doesn’t want to play in the shadow of another Japanese star.

That’s A Surprise

I’m surprised the majority of this list is comprised of 4 National League teams. We all know Ohtani is a 2-way player. He’s a starting pitcher, an outfielder, and a designated hitter. I’m not inside the head of the 7 general managers/owners of Ohtani’s potential landing spots, but I figured he would pitch and strictly play DH. To allow Ohtani to pitch, hit, and play the field is extremely risky, and is something a National League team would be forced to do.

Show Me What You’re Made Of!!

I have to be honest. For a player to forego a potentially 9-figure contract (in just 2 years) by coming to MLB “early”, it would be nice if he’d land in a big market. Because nothing says ‘show me what you’re made of’ quite like the spotlight of Yankee Stadium, or Fenway Park, or CitiField. That’s why if he goes to any team not named the Dodgers, I’ll be slightly disappointed in the young man.

Prediction

I don’t think he’ll wind up in the National League, so cross the Dodgers, Cubs, Padres, and Giants off the list. I think he wants to be the best player on a bad team, so cross the Angels off too. This leaves the Rangers and Mariners. On Wednesday, the Mariners acquired an additional $1 million in International Bonus money, so they look more enticing. However, the Rangers are still the leaders in the clubhouse in terms of International Bonus money.

Ultimately, I believe Shohei Ohtani will end up playing for the Seattle Mariners next season. They’re a mediocre team, that plays on the West coast, in the American League. As long as they allow him to pitch once every 6 days, and play DH 4 times per week, the Mariners have this thing locked up.

 

What do you think?? Where will Shohei Ohtani play baseball next season?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

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