White Sox will not get meeting with Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese star’s list is reportedly west coast heavy.
The Chicago White Sox won’t be one of the teams Japanese star Shohei Ohtani meets with. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted the news. Ohtani asked all 30 teams to submit why he should sign with them. Which meant money really wasn’t his key motivation since several ‘eliminated’ teams had high international bonus pools.
It doesn’t really come as a shock. The White Sox struggle to draw top free agents. However, it felt like the Sox would have a fighting chance here. It’s no secret Ohtani wants to pitch and hit and playing for an American League team would make that much easier, since he could DH.
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Ohtani was reportedly looking for teams that had experience with Japanese stars. That’s where I felt the White Sox would have a fighting chance. Shingo Takatsu and Tadahito Iguchi are two recent examples of Japanese players the organization signed that fit the bill. However, their pitch didn’t seem to be enough.
Now that Rick Hahn and company know where they stand in the Ohtani sweepstakes, they can continue to build the team. They desperately need help pitching, so someone like Ohtani would’ve been nice. However, it seems like they have a lot of reinforcements in the minors, it’s just a matter of when they will be MLB ready.
Fans should still be encouraged by the direction the team is headed. Although they’re not in on a top international free agent, there’s plenty of talent there. And once all their talent is playing, the White Sox will look more attractive to potential free agents because of the young core they’ll have in place.