2018 Reds

Reds miss the final cut on Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani

I know we’ve all been holding out hope that the Cincinnati Reds would perform an impossible feat and convince Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to bring his two-way game to the Queen City. By all accounts, Cincinnati GM Dick Williams and his team put serious thought into the offer made to Ohtani, and the Reds were determined to be a real player in the Ohtani sweepstakes.

Unfortunately, Ohtani won’t be joining the ol’ Redlegs any time soon:

The Reds and general manager Dick Williams put a lot of time and attention in efforts to recruit Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. But it appears that they are not one of the finalists to sign the two-way player.

The Reds have not commented on the multiple reports that Ohtani has narrowed his list of choices of to seven teams — the Mariners, Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Angels, Rangers and Cubs.

Listen, I never expected the Reds to land Shohei Ohtani. The odds were always stacked against Cincinnati. But Ohtani allowed us to dream, because he didn’t seem to care about the size of the market, and money didn’t appear to be a motivating factor.

In the end, most of the clubs on Ohtani’s list were in bigger markets. Most were also west coast clubs, which isn’t surprising (if you consult a map of the world). But I liked the fact that the Reds were serious about pursuing this elite young talent. It permits me to dream that Cincinnati is getting closer to putting the “rebuild” in the rear view mirror.

Take this quote, for instance:

“We’re not going into this putting our toe in the deep end or testing the waters on this, we are making a full attempt to be a player in this negotiation, so we’ve had to,” Price said on Saturday during Redsfest. “The one thing we don’t want to do is make false promises. We won’t do that. We’re not going to say, ‘We’re going to do this,’ and then pull the rug out from underneath him. We have no interest in doing that.”

I don’t know what promises Price is talking about, and the Reds may have been way off the mark, in terms of what they were offering. But it’s really cold outside, and Opening Day is months away, so permit me to dream, please? I’m ready for the next stage in the rebuilding process: competitive baseball.

—–

An interesting sidenote to this story is that CBS Sports has evidently been stealing content from blogs. Our buddy Wick Terrell, from noted Cincinnati Reds blog Red Reporter, noticed today that CBS Sports had taken his piece on the Ohtani news and posted it — word for word — without attribution at their site. That’s not cool.

CBS says it’s a technical glitch.

22 thoughts on “Reds miss the final cut on Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani

  1. It would have been great for the Reds to land Ohtani, but I am not surprised they couldn’t, as it appears geography was the biggest factor. What’s more disappointing is that Miles Mikolas signed a two-year, $15.5 million contract today with the Cardinals. I remember somebody posted a comment on an article here a few weeks back about Mikolas and how he’d be an excellent addition to the Reds.

    • That was me. That was very disappointing news about Mikolas. However, the Cardinals had a big thing in their favor that I had overlooked. I knew Mikolas and his wife were from Jupiter, FL. But I forgot the Cardinals spring training facility is there too, about 5 miles from Mikolas’s home. He can work out there all winter and transition into spring training with no hassle. Plus the Cardinals bevied up to the free agent bar and paid. Most projected him to sign in the $11M-$12M range, but Rangers and Cardinals bid it up past $15M.

      • There was a report recently (can’t remember where I saw it) that the Reds FO had been looking at FA pitchers but had “sticker shock”. It didn’t reference Mikolas specifically, but the details of the Cards contract would seem to fit that narrative. From what I could gather Mikolas was just ok, certainly not Jason Marquis bad, but probably not worth what the Cards signed him for (at least from the Reds’ perspective).

        I think most of us deep down knew that the Reds weren’t going to make any real FA acquisitions this year. They’re going to have to rely on their in-house options improving.

        • I think the Reds were in it until the offers passed the $10M mark. I think that was when they bowed out. I believe Mikolas made $3M this past season in Japan, so you just knew a 2 year deal would have to be in that $10M or so neighborhood. Unfortunately for Cincinnati it went well beyond that, 55% beyond.

  2. I’m glad that the reds made a legitimate attempt to land Ohtani., perhaps a once in a lifetime chance to sign a superstar (potentially) at a bargain basement price. I wonder if the reds finished just outside of the top seven, or were really never considered. Seeing his preference for west coast teams (and the large commercial markets of Chicago and Dallas) , I doubt if the reds were really on Ohtani’s radar. I’m not surprised that they didn’t land Mikolas, as the cards and a few other teams could have bid him outside of the reds comfort zone. The reds are not going to invest heavily in someone who’s talent is unproven. I’m curious to see if the reds can re up Cozart, as the market might not be strong for a (excellent) 32 year old injury plagued shortstop. I also wonder if they would package one of their outfielders with a couple of decent prospects to bring back a talented major leaguer. I hope we don’t just sit on our hands this off season. Back to Ohtani, I’m very surprised that San Diego is on his list of the final seven, as they seem to be very far away from contending.

  3. I’m beginning to fear more and more that the nightmare scenario may come true – Ohtani to the Cubs and Stanton to the Cheaters, err Cardinals.

  4. Ohtani won’t get signed by the Reds? In other news…its been announced that Danny DeVito will not represent America in the pole vault in the next Summer Olympics.

  5. “The one thing we won’t do is make false promises” -Price. He’s probably referring to Ohtani’s desire to pitch and hit. The AL is a good fit for that. Pitch every 5th day and DH, if he’s good enough. IF.

  6. We would be fools if we believed the current Reds ownership were really in the mix. They will eventually purchase the contract of some washed up pitcher with the plan of giving the fan base hope.

      • Chapman and Iggy got chump change coming out of Cuba compared to somebody like Ohtani though? The Reds have zero.zero chance of EVER signing a big name guy like that. They only got Junior Griffey because he was coming home.

        • Interested teams are limited to the amount they have available in their international bonus pools. Rangers have the most available at $3.53 mil. Reds have coughed up much more than that for their last couple of international signings.

          • So this isn’t another Darvish situation? Where they have to pay the Japanese team $50 mil just to talk to him and all that? How did MLB bypass all that?

  7. Not only did they not get Ohtani, they didn’t get Mikalos or Chatwood. Looks like they will just sit and wait till no one is left.

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