Phil Mickelson opts against joining Padres ownership group

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Two months ago pro golfer and San Diego native Phil Mickelson was reportedly on the verge of joining the Padres’ new ownership group as a minority partner, speaking publicly about the situation as if it was all but a done deal, but now he’s apparently decided against it.

“I think to be involved with the Padres you have to be fully committed to the long term,” Mickelson said, via Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union Tribune. “I’ve been born and raised here, but at this moment I’m not able to make that kind of long-term commitment to the city and to the team.”

Mickelson described himself as “really excited” to join the ownership group as recently as October 15, saying that “we understand each other’s concerns and work well together.”

At that time the final minority ownership spot was being held for him as part of an $800 million sale. It’s unclear what changed between then and now, as Mickelson avoided getting into specifics yesterday when addressing the situation.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.