The New York Mets would be smart in pursuing Japanese star Shohei Otani.
Big splashes have always been something the New York Mets have been a fan of. The attention grabbing move has been something the Wilpons have been able to get behind through the years. Whether it was acquiring Gary Carter or Mike Piazza, even a guy like Carlos Beltran, or even the signing of Tim Tebow, the goal in part is to make a splash. It’s what they do. They must make that Bernie Madoff money somehow, right? Who said that?
If reports are true, the Mets are looking at making another splash (via Kristi Ackert of the NY Daily News):
"The Mets may throw their hat into the ring for Japanese star Shohei Otani, multiple industry sources confirmed Tuesday night. They would join the Yankees and other big-market teams possibly vying for the right to land the 23-year-old two-way standout."
Now it may be difficult to pry him away from teams like the Yankees but it would be exciting to see the Mets try. After all, we are talking about a player that is reminiscent of Babe Ruth, serving as a solid pitcher and a slugging outfielder.
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And Otani really is successful in both roles. At the plate he is a career .286 hitter in five Japanese seasons. He has hit 48 home runs and driven in 166 runs. As a pitcher he is said to throw 100 MPH and has stuck out 624 batters in 543 innings. His career record is 42-15. His career ERA is 2.69.
No this isn’t a guarantee that he will be a success in the major leagues. But these types of tools lead one to believe that he has an excellent chance of success. We never see a guy that can hit and pitch. He should be able to do one in the majors, right?
If the parties can all agree upon getting Otani here, financially it is a possibility. They need to agree on the old method where the team that he wants to play for pays $20 million to the Japanese team for his rights. I know that sounds like a lot but if they can get there the financial picture looks better.
The amount the Mets would have to pay would be limited based on the amount remaining in the international signing pool. This would limit the signing bonus the Mets can offer Otani to approximately $3.5 million at the most. Then it’s a minor league contract which we know is not that much of a financial stress. The Mets could keep the payroll where they want it and bring this guy in.
If they can make it work it’s a smart idea. With all of the injuries to the pitching staff and guys like Yoenis Cespedes, they need some juice in the building. Don’t you agree? They need some excitement and this young man could bring it.