Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Otani Working Out Together Can’t Be a Bad Thing


The New York Yankees dipped their toes back into Japanese waters a few offseasons back when the team signed Masahiro Tanaka to a monster free agent contract and the team will look to do so again if and whenever Shohei Otani is posted and/or hits free agency. So I guess you could say that the fact that Tanaka and Otani were seen working out together recently can’t really be a bad thing, can it?

Otani is just 22-years old and is currently playing both sides of the ball while in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters. Otani finished the 2016 season batting .322/.416/.588 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI in just 323 at-bats while also pitching to a 10-4 record with a 1.86 ERA and 0.957 WHIP with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched. Otani won the Pacific League MVP Award while leading his Ham Fighters to the Japan Series championship while also reaching his third consecutive All-Star Game leaving many to wonder if he would cash in on his successes with a trip to Major League Baseball but Otani will remain in Japan at least through the 2017 season. That doesn’t mean Otani can’t hang out with and work out with some MLB caliber pitching though.

Under the current agreement between MLB and Japan a player under the age of 25 cannot receive anything over $6 million in the form of a signing bonus from a MLB club meaning it may be three years before we see the 22-year old posted. Otani is expected to receive at least $200 million when he hits the open market as either a pitcher with a pinch-hitting ability or as an outfielder who can pitch in a pinch.


Either way having Tanaka on the team, and this remains to be seen as Tanaka has an opt-out clause looming after the 2017 season, can’t hurt the Yankees chances in signing Otani. It’s going to be expensive either way but having a teammate like Tanaka may be what keeps Otani from going to a National League team where he can hit once every five days. It can’t hurt anyway. 

4 comments:

  1. Daniel, I wrote somewhere while you were gone, that Torres would play 2nd base in place of Castro this year...if he can do as well as last year...down south!
    Now I read some reporter writes he may be working out at 2nd base and take the job from Castro.
    It was Jan 9th, I think!

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    1. Kenneth ?...So what happens to Castro ? This year ?
      I hear third base is Torres direction. And yes, I read 2nd base
      is where they will work him. Who knows.
      Soooooo. Breathe Deep.......2/5 Polar bears. Step-up !

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    2. I guess they could trade Castro and "sell high" on him. Not sure. The market for anything is thin right now and the Yankees didn't exactly overpay for him last offseason.

      I don't buy it but I guess it could work.

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    3. Anyone think they will let a 20 year old kid play 2nd base?
      I, for sure, have no idea but if he can do the job as well if not better, why not?
      They may be able to package Castro and Brett in a deal for some young kid with talent.

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