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Sport Should a team allow Otani to be a two-way player?

07:22  15 november  2017
07:22  15 november  2017 Source:   latimes.com

Texas can pay most for Otani, followed by Yankees and Twins

  Texas can pay most for Otani, followed by Yankees and Twins Texas, the New York Yankees and Minnesota can pay the most to a young international amateur free agent as highly touted pitcher-outfielder Shohei Otani prepares to enter the market.The Rangers can agree to a maximum $3,535,000 signing bonus from their pool that covers July 2 through next June 15, according to figures compiled by Major League Baseball and obtained by The Associated Press. New York can pay $3.25 million and the Twins $3,245,000.

Otani , 23, has pitched and played in the outfield for the Nippon Ham Fighters, and he said he hoped to continue in his dual role with an M.L.B. team . Otani ’s Japanese club, the Nippon Ham Fighters, said on Friday that it would allow Otani to use the posting system this off-season, clearing the way for him

Realistically, the only way Otani can really continue to be a two - way player is if he pitches and becomes a designated hitter. It's hard to imagine a world in which any team would allow their superstar pitcher to play the outfield on a regular basis when he's not on the mound. So that limits Otani to

a baseball player holding a glove: Shohei Otani on Nov. 15, 2014 during game 3 of the 2014 All Star Series between Japan and Major League Baseball All Stars at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.© Shingo Ito/AFLO/Zuma Press/TNS Shohei Otani on Nov. 15, 2014 during game 3 of the 2014 All Star Series between Japan and Major League Baseball All Stars at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

ORLANDO, Fla. - The question that continues to pop up here at the GM meetings, especially to the general managers but even beat writers, is if a team would allow Shohei Otani, the Babe Ruth of Japan, to play both ways.

The general assumption among the Japanese media is that a team that allowed him to do so will have the inside track toward signing him. The general assumption among others is that letting Otani pitch and play outfield would be a foolish thing to do.

Shohei Otani posted by Nippon Ham Fighters, will move to MLB

  Shohei Otani posted by Nippon Ham Fighters, will move to MLB Japan’s Babe Ruth is inching closer to taking his talents to America. Shohei Otani, a two-way baseball star who the Yankees have scouted heavily, will be posted by the Nippon-Ham Fighters this offseason, according to the Los Angeles Times. Otani, 23, is a pitcher with devastating stuff and at the plate is a monstrous power hitter.In five seasons with Nippon, Otani slashed .286/.358/.500 and posted an ERA of 2.52 with a 100 MPH fastball, according to CBS Sports.The bidding for Otani among MLB teams will be unique.

Whether Otani remains a two - way player full-time or even part-time is as big a part of the intrigue here as where he actually signs. Since money isn’t going to be the biggest factor here, perhaps there will be more flexibility on both sides to compromise on a role that makes Otani happy and allows the team

A team could own one Otani or both. Both the hitter and pitcher are separate players , but they are Just to be clear, the only option onRoto is not planning to allow is for an owner to accrue Otani ’s Write a “ Two - Way Player ” section to reflect the ruling and include it in the league constitution as soon

It seems as if club executives feel that way, too.

The No. 1 strike against letting Otani bat between starts, even if only in one or two games, would be injury. That's really the only strike that matters, right?

Were he to be injured as a hitter or an outfielder, a team would be losing a starting pitcher and a bat from the lineup. The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters learned that in 2017.

Otani is a right-hander who bats left-handed, which means his right arm would be exposed to every pitch thrown his way. There's another avenue toward injury.

But expect most interested clubs to say they are open to letting Otani dabble in the batter's box, and then conveniently find a way - perhaps a bad spring start - to tell him that to be able to be a great pitcher who works every fifth day as opposed to every seventh as he did in Japan, he needs to put his bat and helmet away.

To Otani's credit, he told reporters in Japan over the weekend that it's not his decision.

"I don't know if I'll be given the chance to be able to do it, so first of all, I'll have to listen to what they say," Otani said. "You can't go after something like that unless you're in the right circumstance. It's not just about what I want to do."

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The Otani checklist: How do the Rangers fare? .
The path to Major League Baseball has been established for two-way Japanese star Shohei Otani, and he is expected to hit the market later this week after MLB owners approve the new posting agreement with Nippon Professional Baseball. With that approval a slam dunk, Otani and his agent, Nez Balelo, have started the process of narrowing down the teams the Babe Ruth of Japan will seriously consider.

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