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Article: Twins Strike Out On Ohtani

shohei ohtani yu darvish nex balelo jon heyman mike beradino
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#41 glanzer

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 12:52 PM

It would have been fun to have the national and international spotlight on the team, but I'll lose no sleep over missing out. I'd rather the Twins pursue more "sure thing" sorts of talent anyway.


#42 cmoss84

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:21 PM

 

Hmm, I wonder if the fact Ichiro spent all that time in Seattle had anything to do with Ohtani presumably signing with Seattle?

I was actually going to say the same-maybe even the Mariners bring back Ichiro for another part time year to help the transition. 

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#43 Sam Morley

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:50 PM

I have a series of questions here:

 

1. Does Ohtani really believe he can be a starting pitcher and hitter in MLB?

All of the reporting seems to think does.

 

2. If he does, then what does he think that might look like?

Everyone has been suggesting an American League team where he can be a starting pitching in a five man rotation and also be a DH on some days in between his starts. I have seen few to none suggest that he could be a starting pitcher and then also play in the outfield and hit in between starts, which he could do in theory for either an AL or NL team.

 

3. Where does Ohtani's desire to pitch and hit fall on his list of priorities when choosing a team?

It looks to me like he is prioritizing geography over the opportunity to play both ways. Five of the seven teams he's meeting with are on the west coast, and only two of those five are American League teams. 

 

4. Of the seven teams, which are willing to give him the opportunity to pitch and hit?

 

5. Of those teams, which are willing to give him that opportunity in MLB vs which would want him to demonstrate success in the minor leagues first?

 

Here's what I think: 

 

If Ohtani believes he can do it and wants to do it, good for him. As an athlete you should believe you can do whatever you want and you should do everything in your power to achieve it. But what is possible? 

 

A) Ohtani signs with an NL team and achieves success as a starting pitcher in MLB and he collects his 2-3 plate appearances per start with which he has better than average success relative to other starting pitchers in the NL (possibly the most success relative to other starting pitchers in the NL). This seems very possible.

 

B) He signs with an AL team and achieves success as a starting pitcher and never has a plate appearance against an AL opponent. This seems very possible. 

 

C) He signs with an NL team and he achieves success as a starting pitcher and also achieves success as an outfielder and hitter on days in between starts. This, in my opinion, is 100% impossible. I don't think any of the teams listed would be foolish enough to even let him attempt this at double A. Definitely not the Giants, Dodgers, or Cubs. It would have to take an organization with a history and present of futility to gamble on something so insane. Maybe the Padres fit that description. 

 

D) He signs with an AL team and achieves success as a starting pitcher and also as an outfielder/DH in between starts. Again, 100% impossible on the OF front, and 99.9% impossible on the DH front.

 

E) He signs AL and achieves success as an SP. He also is given the opportunity to DH, but fails to have success. This scenario still seem unlikely to me, but I wouldn't be totally shocked to see this from the Angels, though I would from the Rangers. The team that seems the most likely to enable this scenario is the Mariners. Of all of these teams, the Mariners are the team with the history of the most incompetence and futility. They make crazy choices and bad signings all the time. They seem to have the most proclivity for making big expensive splashes with least amount of relative success.

 

In combination with what seems to be an evident west coast preference, Ohtani's presumed insistence on being given the chance to be a hitter, it seems to me that the Mariners are the most likely team to sign him. In which case it will be interesting to watch in a 'it doesn't really matter because its the Mariners' kind of way.

 

As it all relates to the Twins, it would be interesting to know what pitch they gave him. Were Falvine pitching him the idea that he could come right to the active roster and pitch and DH? Were they telling him he could come right to the team if he was willing to give up hitting, but would give him the chance to prove he could do both if he'd accept a double A assignment to start? Were they willing to give him the chance to hit because they valued his arm so much and viewed letting him try to hit for a short time as a worthy sacrifice for having his arm long term? And what does Molitor think about it all? It's really hard to imagine an all time great hitter like Paul Molitor being open to letting a pitcher also DH. Would Falvine have promised Ohtani the chance to do both knowing that Molitor would never do it? 

 

It sounds like he could be great on the mound, and that would definitely help the Twins in a way that would be hard not to get excited about, but a part of me is also glad that we're not going to be a part of what I think is shaping up to be a silly $#!& show, especially in a season where the team should be intensely focused on taking a step forward. While the ceiling may be very high for Ohtani as a SP, it seems like there's also an extremely high risk for a big ugly mess with the front office and the manager, and even if the financial risk isn't significant, I'm content to have avoided it.

 

Here's a one other scenarios just because:

 

F) Regardless where he signs, he either fails as an SP or gets injured forcing him to give up pitching in MLB, which case he either returns to Japan, or refocuses on hitting only. This scenario is mainly about asking whether or not Ohtani would be a success in MLB as a position player/hitter only. I would say that there really isn't enough evidence to say one way or another. The best you can say is maybe. His sample size of success at the plate in Japan is so small and the tool ratings as a pos player/hitter just seem far less assured than as a pitcher. I think teams and evaluaters have a much better handle on evaluating the pitchers from the Asian leagues than they do hitters. There are just so few examples of successful transitions for hitters compared to pitchers. Off the top of my head, I can count them on one hand. Ichiro, Matsui, and Choo- you could add Kenji Jojima, Nori Aoki, and maybe a couple others to that list if you want to talk about guys who can be said to have had a career in the MLB, but Ichiro, Matsui, and Choo are the impact guys- that might be stretching it for Choo. And as amazing of a career as Ichiro has had, he's kind of a novelty at the plate. No one else in the league has used his approach/style of hitting for decades, maybe since Rod Carew. He's like a knuckleballer of hitters. So, really, maybe the list is a list of one: Matsui, and Matsui is arguably the best hitter from Japan ever. 

 

 

 


#44 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 02:05 PM

The Mariners don't seem to be a very well run team as of late. So I guess if an AL team was going to get him, let him go to a place I don't view as competent enough to win.

 

It was a long shot, I did keep some hopes based on all the various reports that Minnesota was a possibility but I kept those hopes in check so this is still rather emotionless news to me. Doesn't change much, I still think the Twins need to sign one big free agent arm and trade for another. And absolutely nothing has happened league-wide this year which kind of indicates most teams aren't feeling overly motivated. Could be a good year for the Twins to do the unconventional.

 

Also, let's go get a handful of those now free agent former Braves prospects.


#45 Thrylos

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

 

 

Off the top of my head, I can count them on one hand. Ichiro, Matsui, and Choo- you could add Kenji Jojima, Nori Aoki, and maybe a couple others to that list if you want to talk about guys who can be said to have had a career in the MLB, but Ichiro, Matsui, and Choo are the impact guys- that might be stretching it for Choo. And as amazing of a career as Ichiro has had, he's kind of a novelty at the plate. No one else in the league has used his approach/style of hitting for decades, maybe since Rod Carew. He's like a knuckleballer of hitters. So, really, maybe the list is a list of one: Matsui, and Matsui is arguably the best hitter from Japan ever. 

 

Not that I disagree re: Otani's prospects as a two-way player, but you got to add Eric Thames to the list of the people who were good in Asian leagues and continued so in the majors 

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#46 T_J

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:03 PM

I can't quote a post from my phone, but in regard to the Braves prospects and pool money. Teams can choose which years pool money to use for the released prospects so all the offers that would be avalible in July are avalible right now.

#47 Han Joelo

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 05:52 PM

This is the second time this year the Twins missed out/passed on a two-way phenom, 3 if you count McKay.  I had gotten myself excited about the possibility, but now that it has passed, I find myself agreeing with those that are glad to avoid the dog and pony show.


#48 Dave The Dastardly

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 06:04 PM

 

Sour grapes aside, if I was him, Seattle, San Diego, and San Francisco would be no-brainers.  For a guy who lives on an island, being near the ocean would probably be a plus.  And fresh fish.  I don't know about Minnesota, but the difference in sushi between Seattle and Michigan is astronomically huge.

Yeah, but we got walleye.

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#49 Monkeypaws

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:12 PM

Asia just isn't Twins territory - whiffed on Ohtani, Park, and Nishioka. Wouldn't be surprised if their handling on Nishi wasn't a turn off to Ohtani.

 

Compare that to Japanese players on the Dodgers, Seattle, Texas. Granted, much better players, but still.

Edited by Monkeypaws, 04 December 2017 - 07:14 PM.


#50 puckstopper1

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:43 PM

I stated a few days ago that the Twins chances of signing Ohtani were slim and none.Unfortunately I was right.

 

At least he eliminated the Yankees and Red Sox also.

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#51 jimmer

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:44 PM

 

I stated a few days ago that the Twins chances of signing Ohtani were slim and none.Unfortunately I was right.

 

At least he eliminated the Yankees and Red Sox also.

It was always obvious that was the case, especially if you removed the word slim.


#52 S.

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:45 PM

 

Sour grapes aside, if I was him, Seattle, San Diego, and San Francisco would be no-brainers.  For a guy who lives on an island, being near the ocean would probably be a plus.  And fresh fish.  I don't know about Minnesota, but the difference in sushi between Seattle and Michigan is astronomically huge.

Fish used for sushi is always frozen. Though, I'm sure it is cheaper on the coast.


#53 Blake

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:40 PM

I caught a blurb on MLB.com and it sounds like Cashman isn't happy the Yankees were not included in Ohtani's list.

 

Maybe someone should point out to Cashman that if the Yankees wouldn't have built a park that heavily favors hitters they might have had a better chance to land Ohtani.

 

Stress on "maybe."

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#54 tvagle

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:02 PM

Here's what the crusty old-school baseball people running the SF Giants are planning should they sign Ohtani

 

They've done a fantastic job of hiding this from every Tweeting-head in the media and even the most notable agent WEST of Scott Boras, Nez Balelo

 

Once they have signed BR2 (Babe Ruth 2) they will immediately trade him to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton

 

Showing the 23-year old Hall of Famer that no one is bigger than the institution of Major League Baseball

Is it 2020 yet?


#55 Deduno Abides

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:48 PM

The 23 teams that are out should quickly change the rules to allow Ohtani to get a market salary instead of a suppressed salary, so that the winning team doesn’t get doubly lucky by being selected by Ohtani and getting to pay him less than a second year Rule V player.

#56 Doomtints

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:51 AM

It's difficult to imagine a modern MLB team or manager allowing a player to both hit and pitch beyond the requirements in the NL. Sure, a team would do that a few times or maybe for the first full year (it's a nice gimmick after all), but in the long (and medium) run, they would try to push him into one role or the other. 

Edited by Doomtints, 05 December 2017 - 08:52 AM.


#57 gunnarthor

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:12 AM

 

This is the second time this year the Twins missed out/passed on a two-way phenom, 3 if you count McKay.  I had gotten myself excited about the possibility, but now that it has passed, I find myself agreeing with those that are glad to avoid the dog and pony show.

McKay, Ohtani and ?


#58 Carole Keller

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:02 AM

 

McKay, Ohtani and ?

I think he was referring to Hunter Greene.

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#59 Sam Morley

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:44 PM

Citing Babe Ruth as a comparison for Ohtani (or McKay or Green) as a desperate grasp for precedence of a two way player in MLB history is not only absurd but it doesn't even make sense. When Babe Ruth was a pitcher only, he was pretty good by the standards of the era (maybe one of the best in the league- but I doubt if he was great) and he was productive with his limited PAs. He was really only a true two way player for two seasons (1918 and 1919), where he played in the outfield on days he wasnt starting. His performance on the mound declined, while his performance at the plate showed signs of his coming greatness. When he went to New York and gave up pitching, he became the greatest legend in sports history. 

 

You can't cite Babe Ruth without alluding to his greatness. When you say, "well, maybe somebody in the modern era of MLB can be a two player because Babe Ruth did it a century ago", it's like youre citing his greatness along with the fact that he did it (briefly- a century ago). One of the many problems with this is that Babe Ruth didn't become great until he gave up pitching. If he had stayed playing both ways, no one but baseball historians would even have heard of him. So if you're saying 'maybe this guy can be like Babe Ruth', in refernece to being a two way player, what you're saying is 'maybe this guy can be a decent pitcher and reasonably productive on offense'. As a fan of whatever team signs him, or if I'm a GM or a manager, I believe I would value greatness at one position over decency at two. 

 

I look at it like this:

 

1. Can Ohtani be great as a SP? Maybe

2. Can he be good as a SP? Sounds like it

3. Can he be great as an OF/hitter? Very unlikely.

4. Can he be good as an OF/hitter? Maybe

5. Can he be great as a SP and great as a hitter? Impossible

6. Can he be great as a SP and good as a hitter? Impossible

7. Can he be great as a SP and better than the worst hitter on any MLB team as a DH? Impossible

8. Can he be good as a SP and good as a hitter? Impossible

9. Can he be good as a SP and better than the worst hitter on any MLB team as a DH? Very unlikely

10. Can he be decent as a SP and better than the worst hitter on any MLB team as a DH? Maybe

 

It seems to me like you're weighing the 'maybe' of number 1 along with the likelihood of number 2 against the 'maybe' of number 10. 

 


#60 tvagle

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 01:52 PM

 

Citing Babe Ruth as a comparison for Ohtani (or McKay or Green) as a desperate grasp for precedence of a two way player in MLB history is not only absurd but it doesn't even make sense....................................

 

You can't cite Babe Ruth without alluding to his greatness.........................................................

 

It seems to me like you're weighing the 'maybe' of number 1 along with the likelihood of number 2 against the 'maybe' of number 10. 

 

The lack of a quote showing who cited Babe Ruth as a 2-way player comparison for Ohtani leads me to assume my post may have inspired this one

 

The BR2 reference was a homage to the stories that have been written/tweeted/broadcast about Ohtani being the Babe Ruth (a player who showed promise as both a hitter and pitcher as a young man) of Japan

 

I attempted to clarify this with the egregious closing comment of Ohtani already being declared a HOF player at 23-years old

 

As my aging father has taught me, much to my chagrin...one should never underestimate the 'maybe' of a number 1 and when in doubt always believe in the likelihood of a number 2!;););)

Is it 2020 yet?




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