Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Shohei Otani Is The Greatest Luxury

Shohei Otani is a luxury. However, he's not like every other luxury I've talked about.

See, normally, when I talk about a "luxury" I'm referring to somebody that would be nice for the Yankees to have, but the cost of acquiring said "luxury" may very well be too much. Take for example Bryce Harper...

How great would it be for the Yankees' outfield in 2019 to consist of Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, and Bryce Harper? Just imagine a lineup with those three players, along with Gleyber Torres, Didi Gregorius, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, and Miguel Andujar. Let's just see something....

1. Gleyber Torres
2. Aaron Judge
3. Bryce Harper
4. Gary Sanchez
5. Didi Gregorius
6. Greg Bird
7. Clint Frazier
8. Miguel Andujar
9. Aaron Hicks

When writing that lineup something popped out to me, but I'll talk about that later.

Like I was saying, as great as that lineup would be, adding Bryce Harper to it is not going to be cheap. We're talking about a guy who's next contract will be around $450 million. What makes him a "luxury" is the fact is he may not be necessary for the Yankees to win. Take Harper out of that lineup and you have this...

1. Gleyber Torres
2. Aaron Judge
3. Gary Sanchez
4. Didi Gregorius
5. Greg Bird
6. Clint Frazier
7. Miguel Andujar
8. Aaron Hicks
9. ???

That's still a very good lineup. Compared to this past season's lineup, which if you don't remember was pretty good, all I've done is replace Starlin Castro with Gleyber Torres, Brett Gardner with Clint Frazier, and Chase Headley/Todd Frazier with Miguel Andjuar. And that's without knowing who would DH, or rotate with others in that spot.

Getting back to Shohei Otani, though, let's see what a starting rotation would look like with him...

1. Luis Severino
2. Sonny Gray
3. Masahiro Tanaka
4. Shohei Otani
5. Jordan Montgomery

That's ridiculous. That rotation doesn't need a top ten offense to support it, let alone a top three offense. Even without Otani, and assuming the Yankees would simply bring back CC Sabathia, we'd have this...

1. Luis Severino
2. Sonny Gray
3. Masahiro Tanaka
4. CC Sabathia
5. Jordan Montgomery

Even without Otani, or heck... Sabathia, on board many people are saying the Yankees' rotation is championship caliber. That's why I say Shohei Otani is a "luxury", and not a "necessity". But here's what makes Shohei a totally different type of "luxury"... money.

This may be the only time in the history of baseball that a team can add such a great player, or at least a top prospect, without giving up much of anything. Even with the posting fee the Yankees will likely only have to pay in the neighborhood of $22.5 million to have Otani on their team in 2018. You're not going to get anyone like Otani in free agency for that little, nor are you going to be able to acquire a guy like Otani in a trade without giving up a nice package of players and/or prospects.

Oh... lol. While they would have to shell out about $22.5 million, since Otani's contract would be a minor-league deal that $2.5 million outside of the posting fee would simply be a bonus, like those given to players in the amateur draft. The Luxury Tax hit for the Yankees would be the league minimum.

The funny thing is that I haven't even talked about what he could do for the offense.

In short, Shohei Otani is going to be the cheapest luxury in the history of Major League Baseball. Maybe in all of sports.

Thankfully, I believe the Yankees will do everything they can to get Otani. And anyone that doesn't think they should is, without a doubt, out of their minds.


  1. Because of the limit on the salary he will make in the U.S., his primary source of income will be through endorsements. I am hopeful that tips the balance in favor of the Yanks. Plus, he'd have access to Hideki Matsui as a hitting mentor, not to mention Tanaka on the pitching side.

  2. "Eight teams have the ability to pay Ohtani a signing bonus of more than $1 million: the Rangers ($3.535M), Yankees ($3.5M), Pirates ($2.27M), Twins ($1.895M), D-Backs ($1.87M), Marlins ($1.74M), Tigers ($1.072M) and Mariners ($1.056M).

    Conversely, 12 teams are prohibited from giving a signing bonus of more than $300,000 as a penalty for exceeding their bonus pools under the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement: the A’s, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Nationals, Padres, Reds, Royals and White Sox."
    -Mark Feinsand

    I don't know what Shohei is thinking, but the choice seems clear to me.

  3. I think this is one of those deals that only comes along every once in a while. A young, controllable stud that the Yankees can have for $3.5 million in an era when the team is obsessed with austerity and getting under the luxury tax threshold while still competing. All the stars are aligning for an Otani signing in the Bronx.

  4. Bringing in Otani is an absolute no brainer. Even if by some miniscule chance he doesn't pan out, it's a minimal investment.

    1. Six years and $3.25 million, give or take, is absolutely a no brainer. There's no excuse to not get this done unless Otani just doesn't want to be here.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)