Major League Baseball rumors: Are Phillies a sleeper in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes?

Ruben Hill
December 1, 2017

MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that executives around baseball believe Ohtani would rather sign with a team that does not now have a Japanese player on it.

Yeah, that's both pitching and hitting.

Obviously, most teams would love to have the two-way, 23-year-old star. Masahiro Tanaka decamped to Los Angeles before ultimately signing a seven-year, $155 million contract with the New York Yankees that went into effect for the 2014 season. But hey, what about your hometown Philadelphia Phillies? Although the team likely won't be jumping the gun on their current rebuild by spending big in free agency, they're still rumored to be sleepers in the Ohtani sweepstakes. Under the old agreement, teams were assigned a number based on market size, but several teams blew past them since the penalty for doing so was modest. Well, he kind of wants to visit, but he doesn't appear to know we even have a baseball team.

Ohtani: The Rocky Balboa statue, I want a picture of that. "And I can see it being a novelty in the beginning, but in the end, you have to pick one or the other".

"Babe Ruth" is coming back to Major League Baseball - but it's probably not the one you're thinking of.

And if he doesn't sign with the Phillies, Philly fans can just camp out at the Rocky Statue near the Art Museum if they want to get an up-close look at the next Babe.

Presumably, Ohtani will be interested in hearing from numerous teams about how they envision using him since his desire, and potential ability, to both pitch and hit on a regular basis sets him apart from his peers.

You can learn more about Ohtani here. Seventy-five days until pitchers and catchers report!

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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