Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Our Best Guess: Shohei Ohtani Lands In Texas Or Seattle

(Getty Images)
Japanese two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani has "narrowed" his list of acceptable teams to seven: the Dodgers, Giants, Rangers, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, and Angels. As we all know, he has already skunked both the Red Sox and Evil Ones. So, our little handicapping exercise is for entertainment value only. First of all, let's consider what the enigmatic Ohtani has already let us know: 1.) he wants to be on or near the West Coast and 2.) he wants to join a small-market team. That narrows the field to the Mariners and Padres, right? Not so fast, Nippon Ham-breath! There's no way he goes to San Diego—they are too far from legitimate contention. The Mariners are surging toward contention, on the Left Coast, are a small-market, have the Ichiro Suzuki legacy and their climate and city-type is very similar to Sapporo (where Ohtani has played most of his games). So, that's it, right? He's a Mariner for sure! Wrong again, flying salmon-breath! A little known obsession of Ohtani's might just send him to Arlington, Texas. The 23-year old has long admired fellow Japanese player Yu Darvish (a free agent who is rumored to badly want to return to the Rangers). So, if there is a "wink-and-nod' agreement that the two will be paired at Globe Life Park, that might be enough to entice Ohtani to Texas. The Rangers have enough payroll flexibility to pull off both signings, so—even though Al Gore hasn't yet managed to place the Dallas area on the West Coast—it could be 'Shohei In The Show' in Arlington. Either way, we say: Seattle or Texas. If Darvish signs elsewhere, then it's the Mariners. That's our story, and we're sticking with it!