Shohei Otani is more than just a one trick pony. There are MLB teams all over the country drooling over this two way phenom that is currently playing ball in Japan. But this shot is once in a lifetime and maybe once in a millennium.
It’s hard enough to hit a baseball, much less crush it through an opening in the roof. But Otani is more than just a DH in Japan. In fact, he just won best pitcher and best DH in the same season in the Pacific league. Yes, he won both. He has been clocked at 102mph and has been lights out at the plate. Oh wait! There’s more. He also won the home run derby last year. He belongs in the National League, although every team in the MLB would like to get their hands on him.
But there is a complication in the CBA bringing international free agents to the MLB. But so many people want Otani here that international scouting directors tried to get an exception for the 22-year-old to no avail.
MLB officials met today with int’t scouting directors. Said flatly, “There is no Otani exception.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2016
It appears for now that we’ll have to impatiently wait Otani coming here another season. He has made it very clear that he wants to play for the MLB by 2018. But more than one baseball insider is saying that there could be an upcoming “Otani” rule coming soon.
Could be via amendments to CBA from new posting agreement with Japan or other levers. Point is: Otani is a player worthy of tweaking rules.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 1, 2016
Otani could be a once in a lifetime player in the MLB. Maybe if he hits one right out of the country, they’ll make the exception.