One of the more interesting names of the MLB offseason will be Japanese free agent Shohei Otani. A team that’s said to be interested in his services is the Boston Red Sox.
Rob Bradford of WEEI reported that while Boston might be something of a long shot, the team is lining up to submit a posting fee.
“According to multiple sources at the GM meetings (which run through Wednesday), the Red Sox appear to be primed to be among the teams submitting the $20 million posting fee when clearance is given to start that process,” Bradford reported. “It still might be an uphill climb for the Sox, who have extensively scouted the 23-year-old. Boston can only offer a $462,000 signing bonus to Otani, whose richest offers can come from the Rangers ($3,335,000), the Yankees ($3.25 million) and Twins ($3,245,000).”
The fact that the Red Sox are an American League team certainly helps their chances. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, and Minnesota Twins.
Otani’s ability to both hit and pitch makes him one of the more intriguing free agents baseball has seen in a long time. It also makes him by far best suited for the American League. In the junior circuit, he can pitch and DH on off days.
Boston can certainly use that influence in both its lineup and pitching staff. Still, it seems that the Red Sox only real chance is if one of the bigger budget teams lowballs Otani. Otherwise, it’s hard to see them overcoming such a significant gap.