Seattle Mariners rumors about possibly signing Shohei Ohtani have been addressed by general manager Jerry Dipoto. The pursuit of Ohtani has been confirmed, as the Mariners will try to sign him as soon as the posting option becomes available for the franchise. This is the news that Mariners fans have been waiting to hear, even though it doesn’t guarantee that Ohtani will want to play in Seattle. Could he be the answer to a starting rotation that is seeking someone who can pitch a lot of innings for the 2018 MLB season?
During his 2016 season in Japan, Shohei Ohtani posted a 1.86 ERA and 0.957 WHIP over 140 innings of work. He was really good on the mound, but that wasn’t all he did for the Nippon Ham Fighters. Ohtani also had a.322 batting average, 22 home runs, and 67 RBIs over 104 games played. Being a two-way player had led to some MLB analysts calling Ohtani “the next Babe Ruth,” as he attempts to come play baseball in the United States. It’s unclear whether or not this would give a National League team an advantage in signing him.
In a report by MLB.com, the topic of the Seattle Mariners signing Shohei Ohtani came up. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has reportedly been preparing to sign the 23-year-old player for more than a year. Dipoto believes that the successful history that the franchise has had with Japanese players could be a factor in luring Ohtani to Seattle. Past Japanese stars who have played with the Mariners include Ichiro Suzuki, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Kazuhiro Sasaki. Catcher Kenji Jojima also spent time in Seattle.
In new podcast, Dipoto says Mariners will put full-court press on for Ohtani and even willing to play Nelson Cruz in outfield a few days a week if needed to let Ohtani DH. Interesting stuff. https://t.co/ggtcyfR9Qd pic.twitter.com/WzheVPIws2
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) November 23, 2017
Something that Jerry Dipoto said during his first podcast of the season was also quite interesting, as he noted that the Mariners would be willing to have Nelson Cruz in the outfield more often in order to allow Shohei Ohtani to be the designated hitter on days he isn’t pitching. That could be a very intriguing scenario for the team and certainly give fans an incentive to go to games to see Ohtani, even when he isn’t on the mound. These latest Seattle Mariners rumors certainly prove the team is still looking to improve and the situation will continue to develop over the next few days and weeks.
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