The Los Angeles Dodgers don't have the most money to sign Japanes star Shohei Ohtani, but they have several factors on their side and what they offered him during their meeting with the two-way player could be the deciding factor.
According to Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers are willing to let Ohtani play in the outfield on days he does not pitch.
The Dodgers apparently satisfied Ohtani's insistence to double as a hitter, even though AL clubs (Seattle and Anaheim) offer the additional option of the designated hitter. With Los Angeles, Ohtani would likely be used in the outfield when he's not pitching.
Even Kiké Hernández, who would probably be the sacrificed party for Ohtani at-bats, got involved in the recruiting via Twitter with this message for Ohtani:
Dear Shohei Ohtani,
I’m willing to switch positions if you sign with us! Also, I could catch your bullpens if you’d like! Ohhh and before I forget....
Yu, Kenta and I are like bffs!
Just saying, in case you need one!
The Dodgers starting pitching is one of the best in the Big Leagues and the one with the most depth.
With pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urías, Brandon McCarthy, Brock Stewart, Ross Stripling, Scott Kazmir, Hyun Jun Ryu and even rookie Walker Buehrle.
Yeah, the Dodgers have plenty of arms.
That could help them ease Ohtani into a full workload as a starting pitcher in the Majors, as he is used to only starting once a week in Japan.
Competition would be stiff for outfield play though if you add Ohtani that would be three spots for Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles, Cody Bellinger, and Hernández.
Maybe signing Ohtani leads to some other trade.
No, we are not saying Giancarlo Stanton, but you never know.
Other factors Gurnick goes into detail are the fact that L.A. has the largest Japanese population in the US and several members of the Dodgers staff speak Ohtani's language.
Even manager, Dave Roberts, is born in Japan and might know a little Japanese from his mother Eiko.
The Dodgers have a Japanese soft-tissue specialist on the medical staff, Yosuke Nakajima; a Japanese-speaking director of team travel, Scott Akasaki; a Japanese-speaking manager of public relations, Daisuke Sugiura; and even a manager born in Okinawa to a Japanese mother, Dave Roberts.
Things are still wait and see, as Ohtani will be meeting with other teams in the following days.