Shohei Ohtani informs Yankees he will not sign with them
In surprising fashion, Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani has informed the Yankees that he will not be signing with them despite many believing otherwise this whole entire time.
Shohei Ohtani has been the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue around baseball this offseason due to him coming to play baseball in the United States from Japan. The New York Yankees were the overwhelming favorites to sign the two-way star, but unfortunately for them, they will not be doing so.
Ohtani was posted on Friday, which finally gave him the freedom to start negotiating with MLB teams and after hearing from different clubs, he informed those who he has already ruled out signing with.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman heard from Ohtani’s representatives on Sunday and was informed that Ohtani was not interested in donning the pinstripes.
Apparently, Ohtani is looking for a team on the west coast in a smaller market, which should be a warning sign for any team not.
Ohtani is still currently only 23-years-old and had a solid, but injury-plagued season last year with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the NKB.
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In 231 plate appearances in 2017, the lefty-hitting, righty- throwing blossoming star batted .332/.403/.540 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs.
It is not a good sign when a player is avoiding big markets at all costs because sooner or later that particular player will have to play in that big market, except of course, as a visiting player.
It could also mean that the player has trouble under the bright lights of the postseason and doesn’t want to be placed in that situation. So 162 games and then what?
The Yankees had the second most money to offer Ohtani ($3.25 million) in all of baseball, but it didn’t matter.
Now, this means that free agent CC Sabathia will be one of the Yanks’ main priorities to re-sign and refill his No. 4 slot in the starting rotation.
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Regardless of where Ohtani lands, he will certainly draw a ton of attention to himself, regardless of the market size. But it remains to be seen whether or not he can cut it in the States.