We have been covering Shohei Otani here at MLBTR since his first potential move to the majors — back in 2012, when he was a teenager. At that time, Ohtani decided to remain in Japan. Though an eventual posting always seemed likely, barriers arose along the way that made it seem he’d remain there a while longer, but the 23-year-old phenom is now well down the road of finally coming to North America to play at the game’s highest level. And now that he has narrowed his list of potential teams, we finally have an idea of where he might land.
With sit-down discussions just getting underway between Ohtani and his seven suitors, it seems an opportune time to get predictions from the MLBTR readership. It’s a fun exercise, nothing more, since at this point we still have no real idea what the decision will turn on.
Even if Ohtani himself has an inkling, he’s also surely waiting to see how he hits it off with each team. Of course, his list of possibilities does come with a few clues. He’s obviously inclined to play on the west coast, as all but two of the remaining teams are sited in states bordering the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps he’s not altogether committed to the idea of spending significant time as a DH (rather than an outfielder), as just three of the organizations are in the American League. Really, though, it’s pure guesswork.
Everybody has a pet theory or a gut intuition here. What’s yours? (Team order randomized; link for app users.)