The signing of Shohei Ohtani is stealing all the attention in the Major Leagues, and is likely to be the cause of such a 'lcold' market.
The Japanese phenomenon is close to being able to sign in the big leagues, most likely next week. However, the speculations of his signing do not end.
Recently, Brandon Laird, Ohtani's teammate with the Nippon-Ham Fighters for the past 3 seasons, explained during a telephone talk how talented Japanese is and how he will be with new teammates in 2018, according to Joel Sherman of NyPost.com.
He is absolutely a superstar and the transition here will be fine — he will be a superstar-caliber here, too. I have played a long time, and I have never seen so much talent from both sides of the game. On the mound, he is dominant; the same from a hitting standpoint. It is impressive. He can run. He can hit for average. He can hit for power. He makes adjustments and hits to all fields.
Ohtani, he has sent a letter to each of the MLB teams, where he questions why he should sign and how they would help him develop his game better. It is clear that one of his demands is to be able to play both ways.
The 23-year-old Japanese player will be able to reach an agreement with any team under the respective international signing rules, and the Yankees and Rangers are the ones with the most money for the Japanese player ($ 3.5 million dollars).
I feel he can do both, definitely. He is a dominant pitcher. As for a hitter, the numbers speak for themselves. He does a great job of preparing for both, having a routine. The transition here could be tougher. But he has ability and he is mature and he will make adjustments to do both.
Laird, 30, made his debut with the New York Yankees in 2011 season, four years after being selected by the team in the amateur draft in 2007.
The last time he saw action in the Majors before leaving for the Japan League, was in 2013 with the Houston Astros.
The third baseman did not do so well in the States batting for .197 with 6 homers and 16 runs batted in 3 seasons. In three seasons in Japan, he is batting .242 with 105 homers.
On his part, Ohtani leaves the Japan League, after five seasons, has a batting average of .286 with 48 homers while pitcher accumulates a record of 42-15 in 85 games, 82 as a starter as well as a 2.52 ERA.