A look at one team’s wooing of Shoehi Ohtani

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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.