Seattle Mariners a Favorite for Shohei Ohtani?
The biggest news of MLB’s “Hot Stove Season” broke on Sunday afternoon. Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani has informed some teams that they are no longer in the running for his services, and the Mariners were not included.
The most notable rejections went towards the assumed favorite, the New York Yankees. Of course, many Yankees fans are taking the high road on the 23 year olds decision… Hahaha, just kidding. Seriously, if you are so inclined, go read some of the things being said by Yankees fans on Twitter.
Ohtani also officially rejected the Boston Red Sox, along with 13 other MLB teams. Nobody is 100% sure who remains in the hunt. However; it was reported that both the Mariners and Giants will have a sit down meeting with the Japanese star this week.
The news sent a jolt of electricity across the Pacific Northwest. In fact, Yankees GM Brian Cashman dropped a curious quote today. In regards to Ohtani, he stated that he would be thrilled if he was a West Coast, small market team. This, of course, could be a case of sour grapes, since Ohtani apparently told the Yankees he liked their pitch, but they couldn’t change their market size or location.
Most of the teams still alive are on the West Coast, but none really fall into the “small market mold”. Los Angeles is the second biggest media market in the US. San Francisco is 4th. Seattle ranks 12th and San Diego is in the Top 15.
Reports have surfaced that the Cubs and Rangers are both still in the hunt, meaning the field is still wide open.
Just when fans were starting to shift their focus to the Seahawks game, Bob Nightengale dropped this bombshell:
Now, lets all remember how quickly things can change. It was just 24 hours ago that the Yankees were the assumed favorites. However; when multiple GM’s tell you something, you have to listen.
Jerry Dipoto will get a chance to make his case to Ohtani face to face in LA. He has called all hands on deck, including reaching out to current and former players to come down to LA to be a part of the pitch.
One important thing for fans to remember as things go forward. The Seattle Mariners can have a good off-season even if they miss out on Ohtani. But signing the phenom makes everything else straight gravy.