Shohei Otani will come over to MLB this winter

Sunday Night Open Thread
Fan Confidence Poll: October 22nd, 2013

Via MLBTR: Right-hander Shohei Otani will forego the NPB draft in Japan and instead sign with an MLB club this winter. The 18-year-old checks in at 6-foot-4 and 190 lbs., and he can reportedly run his fastball up into the high-90s. The Red Sox, Rangers, Dodgers, and Orioles are all said to have interest.

Because of his age, Otani will be subject to the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Yankees spent almost their entire $2.9M allotment on essentially three players on the first day of international free agency back in July. Otani will surely command a seven-figure bonus, which means New York would have to forfeit future spending power to sign him. I wouldn’t count on him waiting until next July — when the new year’s pool money kicks in — to sign either.

Sunday Night Open Thread
Fan Confidence Poll: October 22nd, 2013
  • Jerkface

    Isn’t this the exact kind of player the Yankees SHOULD go over on? They do a lot of spending at the 250k level anyways. They can eat the penalty for 1 year to get a top 15 draft pick type talent for only money, do their normal thing in IFA next year spreading out their cap (which is going to be smaller anyways as the record based pools start) between a lot of smaller guys.

    • AndrewYF

      Pretty sure you also start to lose draft picks if you go over by a lot. This guy is worth a lost year of IFA, but he certainly isn’t worth that plus lost draft picks.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        The maximum penalties come if they exceed the cap by over 15%, which I would assume would be necessary to sign Otani.

        The penalties would be 100% tax on amount that they exceeded the cap, and loss of ability to offer any IFA bonus over $250K in the next signing period.

        The only way draft pick penalties would enter into IFA signing penalties would be if/when they introduce a world draft.

  • wilk

    yeah, we can cross him off the list. even if we go over our pool and suffer the harsh penalties, we probably still won’t be able to offer as much as other teams can.

  • Mike Myers

    I dont see why he wouldn’t wait until July. The season doesnt start til april, so he would only lose about half a season. He would gain millions becuase every team would have a restocked pool of money

    • Preston

      Half a season is a lot of loss in development time. Some team will go over the limit for him. I don’t know enough about him to have an opinion on whether the Yankees should.

      • RetroRob

        Is losing a few months pitching at 18-years-old, from March to July, a significant loss in development time? Consiering the hit-or-miss nature of prospects, if I thought waiting until July will increase the numbers of teams who can bid on my services and score me another 1M, then you wouldn’t see me until July!

        I’m kind of surprised that he didn’t signal his intentions a few months back. Teams might have adjusted. Then again, maybe he already knows the team he wants to pitch for can pay him. Say the Dodgers?

        • Preston

          Somebody will pay him, so I think he would rather just get over and pitch.

      • Bo Knows

        Pretty much every team blew their respective loads, when the start of IFA began so they could sign the guys they wanted so they are all pretty much in the same boat with the Yankees.

        If Otani, wants to maximize his the money he can earn, he’d be smart to hold off until July, so the largest number of teams would start competing with one another. Chances are as well, that the team with the biggest names (meaning Yanks, Sox, Rangers, Angels, Dodgers) would have the best shot at getting him, because they are the most well known teams in the world.

        Also, this year is supposed to be a very weak draft class, so if the Yankees go over the allotted amount and lose their first pick, it might be worth the sacrifice, especially to get a kid that had he been born in the US, would probably be a top 10 pick (any 18 yr old that can throw mid-high nineties would be an early 1st round draft pick).

        • Ted Nelson

          “any 18 yr old that can throw mid-high nineties would be an early 1st round draft pick”

          That’s just not true. Some kids throw mid-90s and don’t get drafted at all, or get drafted as a position player. One kid I can think of who threw 95 went to a D3 school.

          • Bo Knows

            Did they go to many or any showcases at all? If not, then more than likely they won’t end up on anyone’s radar.

            high heat, is a rare and trait of a above average fb that could become a plus fastball, if there is a kid that can do that, he’s going to be a high draft pick.

            • Ted Nelson

              No. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of HS kids around the country who can pump it up in the mid-90s every season. Not all of them can be high 1st rounders. Only about 15 guys in the whole country can, and some of them are from NCAA.

    • Now Batting

      I’m not sure if this is right, but the guys who signed last July got contracts that start in 2013. I’d imagine if he waited until then he’d lose a full year and get a 2014 contract.

  • eric k

    Some video– not that it means much. Facing kids.

    Really nice windup, everything explodes to the plate.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Sounds like an overpriced lottery ticket.

    There was some talk about “cultural adjustment” in another thread. I don’t buy that for a second. This is New York City and, if someone wants to remain in touch with their culture, there’s no better place to do that than NYC.

    That’s not why I’d potentially pass unless the guy is REALLY special and the price is right. With the IFA crowd, I assume you go for a mix of quality and quantity since the flame-out potential is pretty massive.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      He’d be in the minors though, so NYC wouldn’t play into it at most of his stops. I’m not sure how much Japanese culture exists in Tampa, Charleston, or Scranton.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Of course. You’re totally right there.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        (Still think it’s overstated, though.)

      • Randy

        But he’ll be in the minors in any organization so I’m not sure it matters where exactly. I agree that it is an overstated observation.

    • Captain

      i don’t agree with this mindset at all about the “cultural adjustment” being overstated. there are many stories of Latin players having difficulties adjusting when they come to the states down in the low minors. it has to be very tough of these international kids and much tougher on someone like Otani who chances are, won’t come across too many other Japanese speakers.

  • Jerkface

    An overpriced lottery ticket? So is every great player. Gotta get some lottery tickets before you can win the lottery. He won’t sign for more than 5 million, probably less than 3. How is that worse than any draft pick or IFA? We spent 1 million on Torrens and can’t spend another million on a kid that throws 99?

    You can’t teach 6’4, 189, 99 mph. Why is everyone worried about cultural adjustment? He is an athlete from a first world nation, I guess he could experience culture shock at the lack of public transportation.

    Some people seem to be confused as to what kind of player this is. IFA, just like any of the latin american kids that sign, who will go to the minors. No major league deal. Bonus only. The IFA rule penalties are a tax & loss of ability to offer contracts over a certain amount depending on going over. No draft picks lost, you only lose draft picks if you go over in the actual draft.

    Otani is different from most IFAs in that he is already 18 and has extensive competitive experience in the Japanese Koshien which is a pretty big deal in Japan. The japanese baseball schools are pretty hardcore in their training & playing. He is slightly less of a lottery than a 16 year old from south america, who only spent time in academies & has to get time in around the DSL or GCL before making it to a full season ball. This kid is Phil Hughes in a much more competitive environment. A High schooler ready to hit Low A next season.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      “An overpriced lottery ticket? So is every great player. Gotta get some lottery tickets before you can win the lottery.”

      And it becomes a question of balancing quantity and quality. If they’re all lottery tickets, with high flame-out potential, don’t more lottery tickets, rather than putting most of your resources on a few, mean a better chance of winning? IIRC, the Yanks signed some very nice IFAs at good value last year.

      I know nothing about this kid. However, I’ve been around for more than a few rounds of “WE HAVE TO HAVE THIS INTERNATIONAL SUREFIRE THING.” Perhaps this kid’s worth it. I’ll assume they (and from what I’m reading, you) know more than I do about him.

      • Jerkface

        I don’t think there should be a balance of quantity & quality. We should have a high quantity of quality prospects. The Yankees as perennial winners are denied top talent in the draft & will now be denied top talent in IFA due to having a smaller pool with limits.

        This is a legit chance to get a kid that throws 99. Why NOT sign him? The Yankees are flu~uuush with caaaaaaaaash.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          You say:

          “I don’t think there should be a balance of quantity & quality. We should have a high quantity of quality prospects.”

          I’ll cut and paste from Need Pitching’s comment above:

          “The maximum penalties come if they exceed the cap by over 15%, which I would assume would be necessary to sign Otani.

          The penalties would be 100% tax on amount that they exceeded the cap, and loss of ability to offer any IFA bonus over $250K in the next signing period.”

          You tell me how to reconcile those two.

          • Jerkface

            A good strategy for the Yankees would be to go over on quality prospects in one year and eat the penalty in the next year. Unless they are going to finish with a losing record they will be unable to match other teams in amount of spending.

            Simply consistently spending on the budget allotted will result in a meager haul. And plus the MLB is reaally itching to implement an international draft, so get while the gettings good.

            • Jerkface

              Also that thing about having a bird in hand. You know, right now, there is an 18 year old japanese kid that wants to play in the majors who throws 99 and who has extensive video available of his performances.

              You don’t know what next year will bring & the Yankees strategy of spending frugally on a plurality of IFAs rather than spending big bucks on 1 guy (sans montero/torrens/sanchez) bodes well for a ‘going over in 1 year’ strategy when the prospect talent warrants it.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              I agree with this in concept, but is there enoughleft in this year’s class to implement this strategy? Is going over the cap solely for Otani worthwhile? I could see going over one year to sign several great prospects and then dealing with the consequences, but if it’s only for one player, is it worth it? Maybe Otani is, I have no idea.

              I guess the question would essentially boil down to if it’s better to have Otani now or next year’s equivalent of Torrens and Palma or Baez next season. I suppose that’s a definite possibility (if the Yankees are actually willing to spend the extra cash).

              • Jerkface

                Well you get Otani & anyone up until July 2nd, 2013.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting

                  Right, but is there anyone worth spending on left?
                  I would presume all of the eligible Latin American players worth signing have already signed. So unless anymore Japanese high school studs or young Cubans decide to come, it may not matter.
                  Given the lower IFA budget next season, Otani might be worthwhile by himself, but I really have no idea.

                  • RetroRob

                    I suppose if a team is going to blow out its budget and sign an international free agent, then they might has go totally crazy in one year on multiple free agents knowing they’re going to be shut out the following year.

                    Yet that decision can only be made understanding what’s going to be available in the following year. We have no idea what level of talent will be available on the international side.

  • yankeefan

    Asian Pedro Martinez :p

  • pat

    Whatever league that is they have some nice equipment. Love the matte helmets.

    • http://www, GT Yankee

      I see what is being said about reconciling, but I’m not a finance guy. I do know this-If they really plan to adhere to the MLB budget than something’s gotta give. The major complaint now about the Yankees is that they need to get younger. Because they are in a compete every year mode, they are never going to have the ability to draft the next Justin Verlander. At this point the team is in really murky waters pitching-wise long term. CC is having his elbow checked by Andrews, Kuroda and Andy, while awesome for a 1-2 year re-signing, are 40 or nearly there. Otherwise we have Phelps (the only one I have aspirations for), Hughes & Nova. With Banuelos’s surgery and Betances needing GPS to find the strike zone, there are no starting pitchers (aside from perhaps Hensley)in the pipeline. I don’t know where this guy would have fallen if he was in this year’s draft, but I’m guessing it’s pretty high. Easily higher than 16 where high schooler Lucas Giolito was drafted arm issues and all. Yes a draft pick is some senses is a lottery ticket, but which unsigned amateur player would you rather have right now….IN THE WORLD? Even if he turns out to be an Aroldis Chapman type, that’s not so bad is it?

      • Ted Nelson

        The chances of him being MLB ready by 2015, when the $189 million spending limit would expire, are really low. His value should be assessed without considering that spending limit.

        I disagree that there are no SPs in the pipeline. That you don’t know about them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Warren and Marshall are both potential back-end guys who could be ready by next year. There are a lot of talented guys in the system other than Hensley: Turley, Ramirez, Campos, Bryan Mitchell, Camarena, Cote, DePaula, Sharp, Lail, Dawe… ManBan is still in the pipeline and Betances sort of.

        And, by the way, signing him would directly impact the Yankees’ resources to sign other P prospects. So there’s a trade-off there. No need to spend more than you think one guy is worth when there are other guys out there you can get at good values. This is just one prospect.

        • http://www, GT Yankee

          I know them well Ted….I just chose to pass over them

          Campos is the only other of note I passed over. Go back and read your post “potential back end guys”. These days World Championships are hard to come by without a strong 1-2 and even 3rd guys. Last year being a notable exception. Look who is left standing this year. Giants, full of young high ceiling pitching. Cards, Two former Cy Young caliber guys in Carpenter/Wainwright and a decent big game pitcher in Lohse. Tigers with the best SP for my money in Verlander with a 2nds and 3rds like Scherzer and Sanchez. Not to mentions the Nats with Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmerman and Jackson. See a pattern here?

          Saying a group like this:
          Turley, Ramirez, Campos, Bryan Mitchell, Camarena, Cote, DePaula, Sharp, Lail, Dawe
          minus Campos (with a giant question mark on his back) is going to compete with the above bunch does not pass the sniff test.

          • Preston

            The fact that you have aspirations for Phelps but dismiss a guys like Warren, Marshall and Turley is contradictory. They are the same type of prospects, just like Nova before them, the Yankees have found a lot of good pitchers in later rounds and will continue to do so. We will also always use our resources to go after elite SP when they are available (funny how everybody here things 189 million is so restrictive) as well as bring in older guys on one or two year deals.

            • http://www, GT Yankee

              Here’s some interesting facts for you folks that are terrified at the notion of Hal & Co. spending money.

              Like many things in life, with pitching you get what you pay for. Pitcher’s of course by the nature of what they do are are a more volatile investment. But less an injury, “Ace” pitchers usually don’t come from nowhere ala batters like Mike Piazza (a one in a million). Here’s the Cy Young balloting for 2011

              1. Verlander-1st Round (2nd Overall)
              2. Weaver-1st Round (12th Overall because teams feared the Boras factor. He was considered top 3).
              3. Shields-16th Round (The one non 1st round)
              4. Sabathia-1st Round (20th Overall)

              1. Kershaw-1st Round (7th Overall)
              2. Halladay-1st Round (17th Overall)
              3. Lee-4th Round (The one non 1st round)
              4. Kennedy-1st Round (21st Overall)

              The reason I prefer Phelps over the others-Easy-He’s had some success at a Major League level. The same reason the Yankees held on to Nova in the Montero/Pineda swap. Noesi who many considered to have more upside than Nova ended up in Seattle….We know how that went for 2012. If you think Nova is bad!

              Could this Japanese pitcher be a bust….sure. But he is 18, had no pro innings on his arm ala Dice-K and Darvish, not to mention a power pitchers frame. Rolls of the dice aren’t only about prospects or need I remind of Gullett, Whitson, Brown, Pavano, Burnett, Marte, Feliciano (shall I keep going)? You can invest now a sizeable amount or pay a HUGE amount later. Production levels of CC’s and Moose’s are no guarantee. I’m tired of seeing the team invest in players pushing 30 because they passed on or were outbid on high risk/reward guys like YoCes & Soler. Like the old automobile repair commercial “You can pay me now $$….Or you can pay me later $$$$$$$$”

              • Robinson Tilapia

                You’re looking at the bright lights only, and that’s a mistake. Mid-level pitchers develop beyond their projections, and a supposed “#3” can match up against an “ace” just fine on any given day.

              • Preston

                You cherry picked 8 starters and two of them aren’t first round picks, two were picked in the 20’s where the Yankees could be picking and one was actually chosen by the Yankees, so half of the “Aces” you’ve pointed out were in a position where the Yankees might conceivably draft them. However, I don’t know how the 2011 CY young ballot is indicative of anything.
                Sorting by pitcher WAR totals over the last three years a couple of other guys jump out in the top 25(which includes all 8 from your list). Matt Latos 11th round, Josh Johnson 4th round, Doug Fister 7th round, CJ Wilson 5th round, while Yovani Gallardo (46th), Jon Lester (57th) and Dan Haren (72nd)were all taken in the 2nd round. Additionally Matt Cain and Adam Wainwright were taken 25th and 27th in the first (in an area the Yankees might realistically be drafting) and Gio Gonzalez was taken 38th in the sandwich round.
                Another interesting observation from looking at this list is that Felix Hernandez is the only legitimate “Ace” that was an international signing, and the Yankees did go after him aggressively as an IFA, Anibal Sanchez (15th) is the only other pitcher in the top 25. Obviously top 25 was an arbitrary cut-off, so I’ll also note that Ubaldo Jimenez (26th) and Johnny Cueto (27th) were also IFA’s. But that seems low when around 30 percent of MLB players are foreign born.
                So just to sum up 10 of the top 25 pitchers in baseball over the last three years were selected after the first 30 picks. 4 more were selected in the 20’s in an area where the Yankees might conceivably be drafting. Two were international FA (as well as the 26th and 27th best). So I think your argument that the Yankees won’t be able to draft any top pitchers is flawed. Because not only were they in position to acquire most of these players, they actually did draft one of these pitchers. I think the lesson here is that we need to be careful about surrendering our draft picks for marginal FA signings (I’m talking to you Rafael Soriano) because yes, most of the best pitchers are taken in the first, sandwich or second round (13 of the 23 on the list that were drafted). And I do think that the Yankees have shown an ability to draft well, as shown by Kennedy, Hughes, Joba, being taken in the early rounds and steals like Phelps, Turley, Marshall and Warren being taken in later rounds. The problem is we A, need to have picks to draft those players and B, need to be more careful about trading those players away. I don’t think the right approach is to think that any one prospect is a must have that we should go all out for, risking our ability to go after other prospects in the future. I don’t know anything about Otani, but I’m intrigued. I hope they make him a serious offer, if he waits until the next season of IFA I hope they make him an even bigger one. But if they don’t it hasn’t ruined their one chance of acquiring an elite talent pitcher.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Lots of good points.

                • Francesa

                  You make too much sense for this blog.

                  • Preston

                    Most people on this blog used to make sense.

                • Tom

                  You make many good points, but it is not just drafted these guys, half of the battle is the development of these guys

                  • Preston

                    Entirely true, but if the problem is development, signing Otani isn’t the answer. In fact it would just be a waste of money. I don’t think development is the problem with the Yankees. I think from Rookie ball through AAA we do a fine job developing players. I do think that we have a harder time transitioning players to the majors than most clubs because A. most positions are filled, so we can’t just promote players when ready B. when we do promote players it’s because of need and they are expected to produce, and they also may be needed for something other than their optimal position such as starters going to the pen or a guy playing out of position and C. the New York media/fan base is a lot of pressure for a young guy. All that being said, these are the costs of winning year in and year out, so I like it better than the alternative.

              • Ted Nelson

                That some top prospects develop is not a justification to overspend on every prospect or foreign veteran who becomes available. Especially if signing this one prospect this year directly impacts your ability to spend on multiple prospects next year. That’s something your “sign him at all costs” mantra is missing: signing him this year would mean not signing many talented IFAs next year. You argue “talent in, talent out” then advocate not signing any international talent of note next off-season. The Yankees might have to pass on a young Felix out of Latin America next off-season if they sign this kid now.

                The Yankees do spend well on amateurs, and they have the system to prove it. They just stopped throwing their money around at every hot name once amateur talent became overpriced.

                Do you even know anything about this kid? He has a solid frame and throws hard, so you have decided he has the talent of Verlander? Yet Depaula is not even a prospect worth mentioning? Interesting…

                • Francesa

                  Yeah…but 99, Ted, 99!!!!!! LOL.

          • Ted Nelson

            Clearly you don’t know them well. Cote, Camarena, Depaula, Ramirez, Mitchell, Lail, and Dawe all have front-end ceilings. Not back-end… so nothing you say above is really relevant to them. Try again. Your entire comment does not pass the sniff test.

            “These days World Championships are hard to come by without a strong 1-2 and even 3rd guys.”

            And what do you put behind those guys? Who do you turn to when one of your starters gets hurt? When two go down at the same time? Depth is very important.

            Do you know who Kyle Lohse is? He was the quintessential back-end starter for a decade before finally breaking out. If you’re touting a guy like Lohse, it’s tough to dismiss back-end prospects.

            • Preston

              Completely unrelated to this argument, I had kind of forgotten about Depaula…
              Can’t wait for him to get stateside next year. His Dominican League stats were awesome.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

    Chapman was worth 3.6 bWAR this year. He’ll almost certainly end up worth far more than the $25 million the Reds signed him for.

    Cespedes was worth 3.4 bWAR this year and his $36 million contract is also looking like a bargain so far especially compared to the $70-80 million Swisher is gonna get.

    It’s always a risk investing on players like these but in recent years, the Yankees have passed on all of them.

    Cashman has been far too conservative passing on players like this and that’s part of the reason the Yankees organization is in a very precarious position with an aging overpriced team, few tradable assets and nothing close to ready on the farm.

    • Ted Nelson

      You picked two winners. I can pick two losers, as well. Neither is a real analysis.

      The Yankees were one of the top 4 teams in MLB. They have a ton of money coming off the books in the next few years, a lot of which they will re-invest. They have a solid farm system. The precarious position is made up by chicken littles. No team’s future is guaranteed, but the Yankees’ looks as good as any other organization in all of MLB.

      • Preston

        And neither one of them is really comparable because Chapman was 21 and Cespedes was 26, and both were FA before the new CBA. I think we’ve done pretty well with young international FA, Montero and Gary Sanchez ring any bells?

      • Robinson Tilapia


        Every year we’re going to hear about two or three guys the franchise HAS to have. Mike makes reference to a couple of Dominican guys from about 2-3 years ago which we heard the same thing about, only they flamed out. For every Cespedes which actually matches his billing, we can name one that didn’t.

        We should throw a bunch a bunch of random Latin and Japanese names into a name generator in order to come up with who 2014’s version is going to be.

        • MannyGeee Machete

          “Every year we’re going to hear about two or three guys the franchise HAS to have”

          Yeah, like that can’t miss pitcher that was coming over from Japan a few years ago. Lore had it he could throw Gyros… not baseballs, actual Gyros.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Have you ever tried to hit a piece of pita bread full of lamb? Impossible.

    • Brian S.

      Our farm system is actually really good, even in the upper minors. Corban Joseph and Ronnier Mustelier will be wearing Pinstripes next season.

      • MannyGeee Machete

        yes. wait… there’s a uniform change planned for SWB next season?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          They might get some at-bats with the big team. It’s very well within the realm of possibility.

          Brian is very consistent with his love for those two.

  • Ted Nelson

    I have no idea what he’ll do, but he might get significantly more bonus money if he waits. There’s going to be limited demand to go over for him. There will be tons of demand if he waits. There are obviously other considerations such as getting to FA faster, but since most amateur prospects will never sniff MLB FA… his best move might be waiting and maybe doubling his bonus money or something next year. (Maybe he gets some team to go way, way over this year. I don’t know. There’s really no precedent for this new system.)

  • The Moral Majority is Neither

    The Yankees have had good luck with below BA’s radar-type guys who sign for under $250k anyway – why not add this kid to the $4M Cuba lefty they signed last year and use their 2013 international money on lots of cheaper guys?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’m not opposed to it. It’s about balance, though, and, if you ask me, n this market, I’d rather add several guys I like and who can develop than spend too much on one guy.

      Like I said before, I may have heard of this guy once before yesterday, so this is about principle more than it is about the player. He’s 18 years old and throw hard. There’s a whole lot of career trajectory that can happen there.

  • TomH

    How are these agreements–I mean those that, in this case, restrict the Yankees–agreed to? Are they agreed to?

  • Wayne

    GT you said that none of those guys you mentioned pass the sniff test. I disagree.
    Rafael Depaula Brady Lail and Hayden Sharp you should give a chance and I see as having the most potential. Give these guys a chance.
    These players careers have yet to be defined!
    They all could pass the sniff test. They are athletic great size big hands and one is a multisport athlete. Cause of where they came from or who they were a fan of or ifthey were not a fan of a particular team at all they may not get caught up in the aura of the Yankees so they may feel less pressure and focus better when on the mound. You seem to pay attention to starters if there are early round picks. Nik Turley has a changeup already and decent fastball not a great one but 89-91, pretty fluid mechanics good size at 6ft 6 230lbs. Nik is suppose to be someone who pitches with heart too. I could see Nik matching up against a verlander in playoffs. You don’t have to have a number one pitcher match up against an ace just like the last game we lost to Detroit tigers with sabathia on the mound. Nik Turley could compete against a Max Scherzer too. Brett marshall and mikey obrien may not be great but if you resign kuroda and petite you only need them to be 4th and 5 th starters. Yes Ty is considered to be a great prospect but he is not the only one. You can find gems in later rounds not always but it’s possible especially with the scouting system we can afford in new york. You need to think deeper befor you start saying Ty hensley is our only potential!

  • Thunder Road Runner

    We’ve already blown our budget for this sort of thing.

    • Preston

      Yeah, and we did sign BA’s 2nd and 4th rated international prospects this off-season, along with a toolsy SS, so the new cap didn’t restrict us that much. I haven’t even heard anybody say how they would have ranked Otani compared to other IFA’s or where he would go in the American draft. All I keep hearing is that he was expected to go 1st in the Japanese draft, which has no relevance to me since I’ve never followed the Japanese draft before.

      • Bo Knows

        Japanese professional baseball is the equivalent of a level slightly above AAA, it’s the 2nd strongest baseball league on the planet. When someone is drafted; especially #1, they usually go straight into the rotation. Japanese players usually have large arsenals of pitches and high levels of polish, even before going pro. I usually tend to be skeptical of foreign league’s do to the uncertainty associated with them, but Japan’s talent level is well known; and if this kid is the consensus #1 he would be a top 5 pick if he was born in the US, due to possessing a large arsenal of pitches (which is one of the trademarks of the Japanese prep system), as well as a top flight arm.

        • Jerkface

          Jim Callis just called him a top 5/top 1 pick in the MLB draft type talent, the kind a team who picks low often should go over the limit for.

          Agree x 100.

  • Frank

    He will be a ranger (Don’t believe they spent much/any of their pool money). The rich get richer on this one in terms of strength of the system.

    The yankees would have been in a much better place if they signed cespedes to replace swisher/granderson. Oh well.

    They have been very quiet on the higher cost international guys over the past few years, and their bid on darvish was a joke/waste of time. It has and will cost them moving forward…obviously those guys could not have panned out, but they did, which means missing on a guy for 36MM will end up costing you 75MM+ to find similar numbers on the open market.