Did the Reds chances just improve to land Shohei Ohtani? Doug Gray December 1, 2017 31 Comments The Cincinnati Reds have no chance to sign Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. They are a small market with no history in the market to speak of. They can only offer the lowest possible signing bonus. All of those things are what have been written, said and thrown about by many. Two days ago the Reds officially responded to the questionnaire sent out by Ohtani’s representation, making their pitch in writing to why they would be a good fit. This morning, Jon Morosi tweeted out some news that may actually put the Cincinnati Reds ahead of some other teams and give them a possible leg up. Shohei Ohtani development: Multiple @MLB team execs believe Ohtani may actually prefer to sign with a club that doesn’t already have a Japanese star; Ohtani’s camp has not commented on that. @MLBNetwork — Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2017 The Reds clearly fall into that category. In fact, they’ve never had a Japanese player in the history of the organization. That last statement may or may not play well here, we don’t know, but there could be some small slither of hope from Morosi that the Reds just moved up the line a little bit. Daytona Tortugas President named Executive of the Year Baseball America named Daytona Tortugas Team President Ryan Keur the Minor League Executive of the Year. The Tortugas saw their attendance jump up nearly 22% from the 2016 season with Keur leading the ship. The Tortugas had two of the most popular promotions in all of the minors during 2017. Their Bob Ross night was a success of epic proportions. There were painting classes and of course, the incredible Bob Ross Bobblehead. The team also had a Craig Sager night where they wore Sager inspired jerseys and helped raise money for the Sager Strong Foundation. 31 Responses CP December 1, 2017 I’m not sure if that moves the needle much or not for the Reds chances, but hey I’ll take it! What a story it would be if the Reds did somehow get him. Everyone would be left wondering how. Dick Williams would immediately start being heralded as some kind of young Executive genius. First, he gets the #1 guy on their board the last two drafts, while picking second. Then there is the trade to get Castillo. If you add on the heist of somehow getting Ohtani, he would really have turned the corner for this franchise in just a few short years. All said though, I’m still not holding my breath….. Colorado Red December 1, 2017 I think they did go up. From a snowballs chance in Hades to decent. another bob in nc December 1, 2017 Agree but “decent” may be too high. RMR December 1, 2017 Worth noting that there aren’t many Japanese players in MLB right now. Best I can tell it’s just Maeda (Dodgers), Tanaka (Yankees), and Tazawa (Marlins), with Koji Uehara and Nori Aoki free agents. It’s nice to see Dodgers and Yankees knocked down a peg, no doubt, but it’s less impactful than it may seem at first. RMR December 1, 2017 Stupid me. Forgot Darvish & Ichiro as FAs. And I think Iwakuma just resigned with the Mariners. MK December 1, 2017 Though born in Hawaii, so a native born USA citizen, Mike Lum was of Japanese parents. Krozley December 1, 2017 The Reds are the only team that has never had a Japanese-born player, so I guess it is a done deal. Seriously though, this moves the needle from impossible to highly unlikely. “So you’re saying there’s a chance.” Reds4ever December 1, 2017 Doug, let’s be real. He will not sign for 300k isn’t that all reds can afford to spend? He will not be a Red. victor vollhardt December 1, 2017 For the reasons I outlined(11/29/17)in the first Ohtani comment section—I hope it doesn’t happen. The Reds are getting close (with a few adds and subtracts) to having a good competitive team and need to stick to the plan in place. Colt Holt December 1, 2017 What could signing Ohtani for basically nothing more than the $20 Million posting fee do to set back the rebuilding effort? You realize right that $20 Million won’t get you a free agent utility man for 6 year, right? Was the Reds rebuild set back by signing Rasiel Iglesias? How about Dan Straily? If signing the best player in Japan at 23 years old for 10% of the expected cost isn’t in the plans, what is? Gilbert Keith Chesterton December 1, 2017 Well, basically “the plan” is to build a roster that is that will be competitive over the next few years when guys like Winker, Senzel, Castillo, etc… all reach the majors at the same time and are secured under contract for a few years together. Adding an elite player like this kid from Japan does nothing to wreck the team being competitive over the next few years. It’s not like they are trading away Nick Senzel and Hunter Green to get him. That would be wrecking the plan that is in place. that will peak at the right timeSticking with the plan doesn’t mean you avoid signing a possible great player. Doug Gray December 1, 2017 The difference between $300,000 and $3,500,000 is nothing in this scenario. He’s going to sign where he feels comfortable playing far more than where someone can offer him a fraction more money. He’s going to be paid for the first 3 years of his deal infinitely more based on endorsements from Japan than he will by the baseball team that he is playing for. I still think it’s a real longshot that he signs with the Reds, but I don’t think it will be because they can only offer him $300,000 as it is more due to the fact that some of the other requirements that they just can’t stand out with compared to some other teams. wes December 1, 2017 Reds will have to trade for money. He’d have to commit to Reds and then reds will have to trade for a few million to make it work. Maybe went from .01% to .1%. Still though, very positive to see Reds going all in! Colorado Red December 1, 2017 Reds cannot offer more then 300K regardless. They are in the penalty phase from last year. The Duke December 1, 2017 YEEEEHAAAAWWWW!!!! We’ve quintuples our chances of landing Otani from 0.00001% to 0.00005%. We’re on a roll! rhayex December 1, 2017 Something that nobody has mentioned is the penalties involved in going over the limit. *If* a team is completely convinced that Ohtani is the real deal, they could decide to punt 50% of their international money over the next five years away and sign him to a massive deal. It would be one of the riskiest things a front office could do, because if he comes over and fails to produce you look like a fool who both spent a ton of money and lost 50% of your international budget for five years because of it, but if it works out and he is an ace who can pinch hit on days off? That might be worth it. Also worth noting is that losing that much money would still entitle the Reds to roughly 2.5 million dollars per years in international spending. source for the 50% thing: https://www.thescore.com/news/1171727 Colorado Red December 1, 2017 This year the limit is now a hard limit. You cannot go over, as you could in years past. Also, the Reds (and several other teams), have a limit of 300K. So bottom line, the most the Reds can offer is 300K. Still a long shot, but one can dream. rhayex December 1, 2017 What does “hard limit” mean though? Based on my reading of that article, which mentioned the hard limit, they talked about how MLB could take away “up to 50% of a team’s international signing money”. It goes on to say that MLB may stop teams from being able to further sign international prospects (although it’s implied that it would be through the 50% less money). I haven’t been able to find any concrete information on the “hard limit” that people keep talking about. The information that I’ve found seems like it would stop most teams based on the *risk* of the individual player not panning out, but for a potential superstar like Ohtani, that risk might be worth the benefit. victor vollhardt December 1, 2017 To COLT HOLT—Please read my 11/29/17 posting—there are other factors than money. I outlined them in that post. And for the record—- No team would sign a utility player to a twenty million 6 year deal, but maybe being able to spend 10 mil in overall payroll over the next two years (or 6 plus over the next three )years would be a big help in adding pieces that would be needed to let the team jump up a few notches in the standings. And if the Reds were in a tight pennant race—to be able to have the money to go out and and get that “final piece” (a proven MLB player) at that point would be a world beater. And after all of this— to all teams— this important point –this is a 23 year old player coming to a new environment against competition higher than he is used to and he may fail. Teams like the Red Sox-Yankees-Dodgers and afford that type of”mistake”–teams like the Reds cannot. Bill December 1, 2017 Victor, I think all potential teammates will understand that Ohtani will need an interpreter. I can’t imagine anyone resenting that. As for the money, Colt’s point is that Red’s will likely spend more than $20M over the next 6 years for part-time/bench players (especially if they view the team as competitive). For example, our backup catcher will make $13M+ next year. As for the Red’s coffers, they (like 28 other teams; I’m assuming the Marlin’s former owners received the majority of the value rather than the current owners) will receive a one-time payout of about $80M from MLB’s sale of the 75% their BAMTech subsidiary to Disney and others. https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2017/08/08/disney-accelerates-purchase-of-bamtech-espn-disney-will-see-new-digital-streaming-media-apps/#323932a94a5d While I think it is doubtful that Ohtani chooses the Reds, the $20M posting fee really shouldn’t set the Reds back. victor vollhardt December 2, 2017 I am posting this on 12/2/17—so everybody has probably moved on—-but in this morning MLBtraderumors had a report from some scouts casting some doubt on Ohtani’s skills. Now everybody has opinion and some will right and some will be wrong, but just for those reasons a team like the Reds cannot afford (not just money) to take a chance. Also I never believed that having an interpreter along would cause resentment, but rather the “three ring circus”that the Japanese press traveling along with the team will push others out of the limelight and there are egos that are important. Of course winning solves all problems. but it will be difficult to keep everybody happy. Again go back and read all the stories surrounding Josh Hamilton at all his stops along the way. donny December 1, 2017 OF course i would love for him to sign with the reds. PREDICTION; San Diego Padres Piggly Wiggly December 1, 2017 I don’t know bout SD. With Giancarlo Stanton, if he is traded to a California team from Florida, he loses $3.333M each year on a $25M yearly salary. $4.0M yearly when he hits $30M annually. Endorsement money will also be subject to that state tax. California’s highest state income tax bracket is 13.3%. Florida’s is 0.0%. If he gets another $20M a year in endorsements, that 13.3% tax on that would be $2.666M more in state taxes that he’ll pay that he would not have in Florida. That is a big financial hit for just changing addresses. The same could apply to Ohtani. Not that Ohtani would consider Miami or Tampa Bay, but Texas is another state without a state income tax. Ohtani will get a long term, high $ contract in a couple of years from the team that eventually signs him soon. Astros and Rangers could be front runners for Ohtani. A great team and a good team. Neither one has a Darvish on the roster at this time. Dick Williams and the Reds seemed to have put on a rather good pursuit of Luis Robert earlier this year. That seems to be the case here too, or even more so. At least he has the Reds in the conversation and have a few things that lean favorable on them or check the boxes for Ohtani. I am not holding my breath, but it is the season for miracles. Shamrock December 1, 2017 I’m telling you, we’ve gotta bust out the meme powers. Harambe was all the rage last year. I think it’s quite possible that he even put Cincinnati on the map for folks overseas. Ohtani would be the biggest thing to hit the city since the tragedy that befell the awesome Silverback. How can we swerve this in our favor (other than the classic Dicks Out movement)?? Piggly Wiggly December 1, 2017 If the Reds chances are 0.0 on getting Ohtani, maybe Dicks swinging in the wind. shaggy December 1, 2017 I would love to see him in a Cincinnati Reds uniform, but I still see him most likely going to an AL team. Mostly because they have the DL and we don’t. David December 1, 2017 I would love to see him in a Reds’ uniform as well. That’s why I am sharpening up my photoshop skills. Unfortunately, that’s the only way it will be accomplished. Cguy December 1, 2017 Perhaps the Reds should promote Hunter Greene as a reason that Ohtani should consider signing with the Reds. Williams could argue that the Reds don’t want a 2-way player; they want 2 2-way players. It’s possible Greene could be as effective as a part time ss, 2nd, or even cf (when he’s not pitching), as Ohtani could be a good DH( or ph). The possibilities are intriguing, if unlikely. Still if the Reds demonstrate they are committed to exploring 2-way play with their prize prospect, it can’t hurt , can it? David December 1, 2017 Cincinnati is the home of Skyline Chili. We need to be looking for 3-way players: hitting, pitching and coaching third base. Paul nyhart December 1, 2017 A lot of people forget that Northern Kentucky had a pretty strong pipeline to Japan before the Toyota factory moved to Texas. It’s no Seattle or LA, but it’s not insignificant. One of the better Japanese restaurants in the Midwest is said to be in the Holiday inn by CVG. Again I realize that’s trivial in the grand scheme, but it’s not to say Cincy has zero history of welcoming Japanese expats. I’d think that would have to have been part of the Res pitch. Jon Ryker December 2, 2017 You would think if he was really that concerned about needing to be surrounded by Japanese, he’d stay in Japan. I would think he would be motivated to join a team which isn’t terrible which will allow him to play both ways……a lot….that is the road he has to unique, global superstardom…….Reds can do that. He probably doesn’t want to do this, but man, wouldn’t it be great to have him playing right field and available as a relief pitcher at any time?