Getty Images

A look at one team’s wooing of Shoehi Ohtani

3 Comments

Shoehi Ohtani is a member of the Angels now, but for a brief moment, every team had at least a theoretical chance to sign him. Most of those teams made some sort of effort to woo him before he pared down the list and started taking meetings. Today Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer shows us the effort of one team, the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds gave Buchanan and an MLB.com reporter a look at the materials it put together and presented to Ohtani. They made a video highlighting the city and the club, presented to him on an HD tablet. They made a gigantic coffee table kind of book with scouting reports of Ohtani himself from Bryan Price and the coaching staff, complete with schedules of when he’s hit and when he’d pitch and how they’d assemble his spring training regimen. It contained a message from Joey Votto, and references to how long Votto was under contract and how team ownership and management are locally-based, so as to emphasize the team’s stability. All of it was in Japanese and English, and even the English stuff mentioned distances (e.g. how far the team has to travel, the size of the city, etc.) in kilometers, which is kind of a nice, subtle touch.

I doubt the Reds truly thought they had a serious chance at Ohtani, but the effort put into it seems strong. And, of course, the fact that this is being shared publicly suggests that the Reds want their fans to know how hard they tried.

Definitely fascinating reading.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

Getty Images
3 Comments

If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.