Ken Williams commented on the failed pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. The White Sox were not one of seven teams who met with him in person.
Executive Vice President Ken Williams spoke to Scott Merkin about the failed pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese star selected seven teams to meet with and the Chicago White Sox weren’t one of them. Williams told Merkin he was happy with the organization’s pitch but disappointed at the same time.
"“I’m a little disappointed, but at the same time, as [White Sox general manager] Rick [Hahn] stated [Friday], we knew that it was a long shot because of the economics involved, and it may be from what I understand a logistical issue as well.”Ken Williams, White Sox Executive Vice President"
Ohtani did something different in his approach. He asked all 30 teams to sell him on playing in their market. Sure he had some important things in mind but he did seem open to any organization. What resonates here is this really wasn’t a money play. Because of his age, he was under international spending rules. And some teams on his final list didn’t have the most money to spend. The last report I saw, the Sox were limited to $300,000.
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We don’t know much about what the Sox pitched him on. They do have experience with Japanese players. That was probably a big part of their pitch. Another part of their wooing could have been all the young stars they have in their system. At the same time that could’ve been a detriment because Ohtani may want to be the face of the franchise. But with the Sox, there’s a chance he wouldn’t be.
Ohtani definitely would have been a nice addition to the Sox. But the failed pursuit doesn’t hurt them. They have plenty of talent and now can get back to adding depth in the starting rotation and rebuilding the bullpen.
It was fun to think about the prospects of Ohtani is a White Sox uniform. He is someone that could transform the game, if he can successfully pitch and bat. Going to an American League team may give him more at-bats because he could be a designated hitter. Then, during inter-league play he would obviously bat. It’s tough for me to see how a National League team would work him in as a pitcher and hitter. But we’ll have to wait and see how things play out.