Reps for Shohei Ohtani ask Dodgers, others to spell out their interest in Japanese prospect
LOS ANGELES — The courtship of Shohei Ohtani will include a written portion.
In advance of the much-anticipated move of Ohtani to the United States, his representatives sent out a questionnaire to all 30 MLB teams. According to the Associated Press, the questionnaire was included in materials distributed by the commissioner’s office Friday informing teams of a Dec. 1 vote on a new posting agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball. Ohtani is expected to be posted by his team as soon as the new agreement is in place.
The questionnaire sent out by Ohtan’s agent asks teams to return written explanations in both English and Japanese on how Ohtani would fit into their organization and why their team should be attractive to the 23-year-old right-handed pitcher who also plays the outfield.
In keeping with Ohtani’s unique two-way potential, teams are also asked to provide their evaluation of Ohtani as a hitter and as a pitcher. The memo also asks for teams to detail the organization’s minor-league and spring training facilities, its player development, medical staff and player performance philosophies. Additionally, teams were asked to explain the organization’s resources for easing Ohtani’s transition to a new country and culture.
Teams were told not to include any financial specifics about a potential contract. Because of his age, Ohtani will be treated as an international amateur, limiting how much teams can offer in a contract. Ohtani’s former team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, is expected to set the posting fee for him at the maximum $20 million — a price any MLB team would pay for his services.
All 30 teams are expected to express interest in signing Otani. The Dodgers are handicapped somewhat by being limited to only a $300,000 signing bonus. But the memo sent to teams this week makes it clear Ohtani is evaluating many […]