In a past article, I wrote about how it didn’t seem likely that Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani would be able to be posted and play in the MLB in 2018. Well, they worked it all out, and indeed, it seems as though Ohtani will be in the major leagues come next season.
As part of the wooing process, the 23-year-old pitcher and his agent have sent a questionnaire to all 30 MLB teams, to list their seven best attributes, which would presumably help them decide what team would be best for Ohtani to play. Goodness, just imagine having that kind of power! But I digress.
Some major league players are getting in on the act, like the Dodgers’ Brandon McCarthy, although his was satirical and pointing out what every major league team would include:
So in that vein, let’s take a look at the Top 7 reasons Ohtani Should Pick Los Angeles:
1. Clayton Kershaw—No pressure to immediately be the ace of the team, because the Dodgers already have one. And who better to learn from and watch every few days than the best pitcher on the planet?
2. Six Man Rotation—Ok, so maybe the Dodgers don’t normally have a six man rotation, but they have enough pitchers to field one. With Ohtani coming from Japan, where pitchers only pitch once a week, having a plethora of pitchers on the pitching staff can help ease the transition for Ohtani. At least long enough to get acclimated before a few of the pitchers inevitably go on the disabled list.
3. Other Japanese Pitchers—The Dodgers already have Kenta Maeda on staff, and they did just have Yu Darvish. And who knows, maybe Darvish will be re-signed. Ohtani has stated that Darvish is one of his favorite baseball players, and the Dodgers could bring them both to the team to make Shohei feel more comfortable.
4. A Manager with a Japanese Heritage—What other team can boast that their manager was born in Japan and is half-Japanese? That’s right, none of them! Only the Dodgers can. And, he’s a really great guy and manager to boot! What’s not to love about that managerial situation?
5. Pitchers Who Can Hit—One of the stipulations Ohtani has is that wants to be able to bat just as much as he wants to pitch. And why not, when you’re at good at it as he is. Last season he boasted a .322 BA. Still, I’m sure he could stand to learn a little from the batting skills of Rich Hill, as everyone need a little hop in their batting approach. Or, conversely, if the Dodgers re-sign Darvish, he could be Darvish’s personal hitting coach.
6. Rookie of the Year—Ohtani has the potential to be Rookie of the Year anywhere. So why not become one for the team that has far and away had the most Rookies of the Year ever, and be the third one in a row for an illustrious franchise? Also, he’s young, and he’ll fit right in with all the other young phenomenal just floating around Dodgers Stadium, like Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias, just to name a few.
7. The Beach and the Weather—Because no list of why a player should choose Los Angeles would be complete without mentioning the proximity of the beach, and the weather.
Really, when you look at this list, it would be a no-brainer for Ohtani to choose to sign with the Dodgers. Plus, they have other things some players might consider advantages, like an elite front office, an organization that has access to lots and lots of money, a storied franchise, one of the best ballparks in which to pitch, a team that already was the best in baseball last year, and is poised to be so again—small things I’m sure that could add up to be the tipping point for a superstar such as Ohtani. I’ll be expecting the announcement of his signing any day now.
(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)