The Shohei Ohtani story looks like it will be the biggest of Major League Baseball’s offseason, and it seems those in and around Seattle think there’s a good chance it will end up becoming a Mariners story.
The Japanese two-way sensation is coming to America next season, and today is the day the league is expected to ratify the posting agreement that allows the 23-year-old Ohtani, who’s such a curiosity because of his ability both to pitch and hit, to sign with a major-league team. Those rules are such that all 30 of MLB’s teams are in the running for Ohtani’s signing, and this week’s poll asked readers to predict which team Ohtani will eventually sign with. The results:
POLL: Which MLB team lands Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani? Full context here: https://t.co/Xq0QdYZqp5
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) November 27, 2017
So there’s a fair amount of confidence that Ohtani will sign with the hometown team. Add the two polls together and 46 percent of the responders predict that Ohtani will end up with the Mariners. Among the other contenders, 34 percent predict Ohtani will sign with the the New York Yankees, who can offer the biggest market, while 11 percent guessed he will sign with the Texas Rangers, who can offer the most money. Nine percent took the field.
While it’s a fun exercise guessing where Ohtani will end up, it really isn’t one where we can have a lot of faith in our predictions. That’s because no one other than Ohtani himself knows what his priorities are for signing with a team. Is it money? Is it location? Is it guarantees he’ll be allowed to both pitch and hit? Is it a winning team? We won’t really know the answers to these questions until Ohtani signs on the dotted line.
Once the posting agreement is ratified, there will be a 21-day posting period during which the Ohtani recruitment can take place. Should the deal get ratified Friday as expected, then that period would close on Dec. 21, meaning one team will be getting a very nice early Christmas present this year.