The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly among those interested in Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese two-way sensation who wants to hit and pitch in the majors next season.
Over the weekend, there was good news on this front when the Associated Press reported reps for Ohtani sent all 30 teams a memo asking for a variety of information, including essentially a sales pitch for the organization.
Why is this good news for the Reds?
Because financial considerations weren’t to be a part of a team’s attempt to sell Ohtani on joining them.
It’s unclear exactly what type of situation he might be looking for, but that would seem to level the playing field to a certain extent instead of insuring he goes to the highest bidder.
As Doug Gray at RedsMinorLeagues.com puts it:
Where Cincinnati, and other teams, could make their real gains in the pitch, is in player performance philosophies, a willingness to let him play in the field and pitch, as well as why your team is the best fit for him.
Now, claiming you’re winning right now, won’t be a way the Reds can compete in this market. But, selling him on being the piece that makes them ready to win, could be. “We have arguably the best hitter alive in Joey Votto. We have a young core of offense under team control for quite a while that includes (name your players here) that can and will grow with you over the next five-to-six years.”
Reds general manager Dick Williams and other club representatives were in Japan to see Ohtani play in October according to MLB.com.
Although the organization has never signed a Japanese player, the Reds have historically been very active on the international market, including recent signings of Cubans Aroldis Chapman, Raisel Iglesias, Jose Isreal Garcia, Vladimir Gutierrez and Alfredo Rodriguez.