Posted by Richard Jones at 12:00 PM
The Mets should do everything in their power to sign Shohei Otani for the 2018 season. Shohei Otani is known as the Japanese Babe Ruth. He is Japan's best hitter and also their best pitcher. Some have stated he would surpass Mike Trout as MLB's best player if he were in the Major Leagues and I agree with that.
Otani has expressed his interest to play in the Major Leagues in 2018 even though it likely would cost him hundreds of millions over the next few years. Many experts believe Otani would get a contract for more than $300,000,000 if he were an unrestricted free-agent. In the new CBA, teams are limited to a strict international allotment. Teams have been allotted between $4.75 and $5.75 million. They can trade for more money that would bring them up to about 10 million. That means most teams will only be able to offer Otani about $5,000,000 and at most $10,000,000. If he waits until the 2020 season he will get a big payday.
Otani says the money doesn't manner and if he does choose to come over here next year that will be true. No one team is going to be able to blow away other teams financially which gives Otani leverage to bargain with for what else he wants. Otani will insist on remaining a two way player. I would never give him a $300,000,000 contract and let him play two ways. It would be too much of a financial risk if he got injured but if that's what he wants and it only costs $5,000,000. It's a bargain.
Otani would instantly be an elite MLB pitcher. I see Noah Syndergaard when I watch Otani pitch. He sits in the high 90s and like Noah he, at times, will be in triple digits late in the game. His fastball actually averages higher than Syndergaard's. Even his off speed stuff reminds me of Syndergaard. Mid 90s nasty slider and a change up with a lot of downward movement. I would actually say his raw stuff is a little better than Syndergaard's but his command is just below Syndergaards.
I'm a big proponent of the six man rotation. The one issue is the roster spot. If you had a pitcher who would be on the mound every sixth game and in rightfield 4 of the other 5 games then your not loosing that roster spot. I believe Otani is pretty compatible to Bruce as a hitter. He plays rightfield or DH when he is not pitching in Japan. You would be getting a pitcher who would be anywhere between the #1 and the #3 guy for the Mets. You would also get a hitter that will ba about .270-.300 and hit 20 to 30 homers.
The Mets, like any other team, should offer Otani a two way deal if that's what it is going to take. What they should also offer him which a lot of other teams will not is to be part of a 6 man rotation. This is something he is comfortable with in Japan. Both Darvish and Tanaka had elbow problems after coming here and going to a five man rotation. Otani also stated he looks forward to facing Bryce Harper when he does come over. Who better to give him that opportunity than the Mets.