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Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance?

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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#21 » by Schad » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:20 pm

Really wish we wouldn't talk as much as we have on the subject. Even with Atkins' hedging, they're encouraging fans to get angry when we don't sign him, as if signing him was ever something that was within our power to achieve.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#22 » by Tanner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:26 pm

Does anyone actually think Shapiro and Atkins won't try their hardest to sign Ohtani? The amount of surplus value he is going to be is insane. Of course they will do everything in their power to make it happen. Unfortunately, so will every other team. The team that signs him isn't going to be smarter or better. It's about what the player is looking for, which could be anything. When money isn't a huge factor, it depends on fit. The Jays will sell their high performance dept and player development focus, plus the possibility of being a DH when he's not pitching, and then see what happens. Chances are he goes elsewhere, but that is a strong likelihood regardless.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#23 » by I_Like_Dirt » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:35 pm

Schad wrote:Really wish we wouldn't talk as much as we have on the subject. Even with Atkins' hedging, they're encouraging fans to get angry when we don't sign him, as if signing him was ever something that was within our power to achieve.


Get fans interested in baseball wheelings and dealings? Check. Create a common enemy or two for fans to vilify when the not-bloody-likely doesn't come to pass? Check. This is a pretty tried and true strategy. I mean, it really isn't hard to convince fans of what they are already predisposed to believe in the first place: that the team they're cheering for has a realistic chance. It's been pretty easy for them to convince their fans that an aging 76-win team with very little upper minors potential is really just an unlucky ~88-win team in disguise - I'm not even sure they've tried to convince their fans, and they really haven't had to.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#24 » by Tanner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:01 pm

Schad wrote:Really wish we wouldn't talk as much as we have on the subject. Even with Atkins' hedging, they're encouraging fans to get angry when we don't sign him, as if signing him was ever something that was within our power to achieve.


I don't see the issue with it. Atkins talked about having interest in Ohtani and why he would make sense to acquire. Anyone who takes that as the Jays having any better of a shot at signing him than they did 24 hours ago before Atkins' quotes went public is setting themselves up. If Atkins said nothing and the Jays didn't sign him, then the same mouth breathers would be criticizing him for it. There's no way around it.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#25 » by Schad » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:05 pm

I just find it bizarre in this instance, because -- unlike the Darvish pursuit, as an example -- this isn't even a situation where we can outbid anyone. We're literally just offering the same thing everyone else is (no one seriously interested in his services is suggesting that he'll only be deployed as a pitcher), only with a less attractive overall situation. It's akin to Moose Jaw or some such bidding for the Amazon HQ.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#26 » by I_Like_Dirt » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:57 pm

To be fair, in theory Moose Jaw stands a better shot when all things are equal than when you factor in the ability of other major centers to afford much larger concessions due to sheer spending power. So I suppose that's something.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#27 » by Tanner » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:36 am

Schad wrote:I just find it bizarre in this instance, because -- unlike the Darvish pursuit, as an example -- this isn't even a situation where we can outbid anyone. We're literally just offering the same thing everyone else is (no one seriously interested in his services is suggesting that he'll only be deployed as a pitcher), only with a less attractive overall situation. It's akin to Moose Jaw or some such bidding for the Amazon HQ.


No one really knows what Ohtani is looking for, though. Money is not an issue. Pretty much every team can provide the same perks (hitting + pitching), to varying degrees. Obviously an AL team gives him more opportunity to hit. In reality, as long as we are left in the dark as to what he actually wants from an organization, the Jays have a 1/30 chance. You can say there's no chance, a very small chance, or whatever. Probability is not good, so obviously it's easier to assume he'll go elsewhere, but I have no idea what he wants to do, and neither does anyone else, including the GM's who will try to entice him.

What Atkins said was pretty basic. He may have increased expectations to some, but saying "we are going to pursue him when he's posted" is like saying "I'm going to eat tomorrow when I'm hungry". Of course he is. He has nothing to lose and price is not an issue. He will make his pitch and whatever happens from there is out of his control.

Granted, a percentage of the Jays casual fan base are dumb as rocks, so there will be people bashing Atkins and Shapiro for not signing him if someone else does, but those fans would bash them for just about anything.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#28 » by -MetA4- » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:54 am

Tanner wrote:What Atkins said was pretty basic. He may have increased expectations to some, but saying "we are going to pursue him when he's posted" is like saying "I'm going to eat tomorrow when I'm hungry". Of course he is. He has nothing to lose and price is not an issue. He will make his pitch and whatever happens from there is out of his control.

Granted, a percentage of the Jays casual fan base are dumb as rocks, so there will be people bashing Atkins and Shapiro for not signing him if someone else does, but those fans would bash them for just about anything.


What he said was actually much more direct than what typically comes out from Shapiro and himself. They both typically speak in heavy "corporate speak", so much so that I was actually quite surprised at how forthcoming he was with regards to talking about Otani. Had they wanted to temper expectations, he certainly could have been much more conservative in his choice of words, which is about what I expect from this front office at all times regardless. Obviously pure probability heavily suggests that he signs elsewhere (as you mentioned), but I really doubt he would have said what he chose to say had they really believed that we had no chance here. This also coincides with the earlier report about Dan Evans (our Pro Scout for Asia) being heavy on Otani for several years now, supposedly building a strong relationship with his Japanese team.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#29 » by Schad » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:57 am

What Atkins said was pretty basic. He may have increased expectations to some, but saying "we are going to pursue him when he's posted" is like saying "I'm going to eat tomorrow when I'm hungry". Of course he is. He has nothing to lose and price is not an issue. He will make his pitch and whatever happens from there is out of his control.

Granted, a percentage of the Jays casual fan base are dumb as rocks, so there will be people bashing Atkins and Shapiro for not signing him if someone else does, but those fans would bash them for just about anything.


Were it just left at "we are going to pursue him when he's posted", that would be fine. Instead, they decided to give a press briefing on how prepared we are for him, how we intend to pitch him, why we think we're such a good fit for him, and how we believe we're just as capable as any other team of acquiring him. It's the kind of pointless self-fluffery that inevitably gets us in trouble.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#30 » by North_of_Border » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:10 am

Pay him under the table, and hope the FBI don’t smell a thing.




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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#31 » by Tanner » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:48 am

Agreed that Atkins went above typical PR fluff by saying some of things he said. He was surprisingly specific in a lot of what he said, which is unlike him. It could be that he truly believes he has a real chance of landing Ohtani, or that he is proud of the due diligence his team made in the entire process. I just think that overall what he said (having interest in Ohtani, why he fits with the team, etc) shouldn't be misconstrued as leading the fanbase on. The chances of signing him are the same as they've always been. None of us know what the chances are, and while I tend to agree with MetA4 that the chances are probably greater than some think (certainly higher than 0% like some suggested), the probability is what it is. If he's not after money, and it's unclear whether he has a particular preference with location or league, then really anything can happen.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#32 » by I_Like_Dirt » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:33 pm

Tanner wrote:I just think that overall what he said (having interest in Ohtani, why he fits with the team, etc) shouldn't be misconstrued as leading the fanbase on.


Why shouldn't it? What other purpose does it actually serve? While there are more than a few different motivations that could be driving it, and probably many/all of them play a factor, it's pretty clear what's happening here.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#33 » by polo007 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:39 pm

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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#34 » by JaysRule15 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:42 pm

I heard Kawasaki is putting in a good word for us too.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#35 » by Tanner » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:31 am

I_Like_Dirt wrote:
Tanner wrote:I just think that overall what he said (having interest in Ohtani, why he fits with the team, etc) shouldn't be misconstrued as leading the fanbase on.


Why shouldn't it? What other purpose does it actually serve? While there are more than a few different motivations that could be driving it, and probably many/all of them play a factor, it's pretty clear what's happening here.


I think it's pretty safe to say that if you listed every motivation Atkins may have had for being so open about it, that "getting the fans' hopes up" wouldn't be on that list. There was no optics benefit for him saying what he said. Pretending to be in on Ohtani makes no sense. Signing him would cost so little that he would be foolish not to be in on him. Everyone (should) know that. Maybe he truly feels he has a chance, or maybe hyping up the high performance dept can help his position with other free agents, and so on. This is the same front office that didn't even pretend to have interest in bringing David Price back, and moved on from Edwin probably hours after he rejected their initial offer. I doubt they care what the fans think.

Reality is, 29 other GM's could say the same thing about Ohtani, using different logic to explain why they have a chance. You just have to trust that most fans know about the reality of the situation, and the ones that don't shouldn't have their opinions taken seriously on this matter anyway. Anyone who bashes the Jays for not signing him don't know about the situation. It has nothing to do with money so a lot of it is out of the team's hands.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#36 » by Schad » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:17 am

Nothing you said contradicted what ILD said at all, though. Every team is in on him, we know that. It's not going to be decided on money, we know that. None of that makes it any more beneficial to wax rhapsodic about how much work we have put into an attempted signing that almost definitely will not happen, and which is (as you say) mostly out of our hands anyway.

And there's absolutely a short-term optics benefit: it's yet another way for them to telegraph how super-serious we are about competing this year, you guys, so definitely get those ticket packages now. Because, while I know you disagree, that's so clearly our primary motivation at the moment: to cash in on the positive mood of the fanbase before it inevitably wanes.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#37 » by Tanner » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:39 am

Schad wrote:Nothing you said contradicted what ILD said at all, though. Every team is in on him, we know that. It's not going to be decided on money, we know that. None of that makes it any more beneficial to wax rhapsodic about how much work we have put into an attempted signing that almost definitely will not happen, and which is (as you say) mostly out of our hands anyway.

And there's absolutely a short-term optics benefit: it's yet another way for them to telegraph how super-serious we are about competing this year, you guys, so definitely get those ticket packages now. Because, while I know you disagree, that's so clearly our primary motivation at the moment: to cash in on the positive mood of the fanbase before it inevitably wanes.


So what is exactly is gained by saying they feel good about their chances of being able to entice a Japanese player that the casual fans know nothing about? "Wow, Ross Atkins said he likes some guy in Japan and thinks there is a chance we can sign him, what's the number to order season tickets again?" I just don't see it.

If there was a large posting fee and it required a 9 figure contract to sign him, then yes, I would agree that Atkins saying stuff like that would be done for optics, especially since Rogers has been criticized heavily for their lack of spending in the past. However, with Ohtani, none of that exists. The posting fee is the same for everyone, and the salary will be so tiny that it's a non issue. Atkins saying he thinks the Jays are a good situation for Ohtani and that they have done their due diligence with him could have been done for several reasons. If it was done purely to "impress" Jays fans into thinking the front office is being proactive or trying to win in 2018, then I think you're overestimating how much this front office (or any front office really) cares about the casual fan. Talking up interest in Lorenzo Cain would probably make more of an impression on casual fans since they might actually know who he is.

Signing him is a 1/30 chance. The odds are not good. I think anyone who knows anything about the situation would understand that and not pre-order Ohtani jerseys because Atkins declared his love for him in a media session before the player was even posted. I really don't think it's a big deal. He's clearly being sincere when he talks about Ohtani since the cost to acquire him is practically nothing by baseball standards, so he has no reason to hype it up like it's going to be a huge outlay in cash.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#38 » by Schad » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:27 am

Tanner wrote:So what is exactly is gained by saying they feel good about their chances of being able to entice a Japanese player that the casual fans know nothing about? "Wow, Ross Atkins said he likes some guy in Japan and thinks there is a chance we can sign him, what's the number to order season tickets again?" I just don't see it.


Good news! If you offer glowing praise of a player on, say, the sports site which shares the same owner as the club, and perhaps on the TV channel which shares the same owner as the club, and maybe the radio stations which share the same owner as the club, then the casual fans might not know a great deal about the player, but they will know that i) he's reputed to be extremely good, and ii) the Jays are pulling out all the stops for him.

If there was a large posting fee and it required a 9 figure contract to sign him, then yes, I would agree that Atkins saying stuff like that would be done for optics, especially since Rogers has been criticized heavily for their lack of spending in the past. However, with Ohtani, none of that exists. The posting fee is the same for everyone, and the salary will be so tiny that it's a non issue. Atkins saying he thinks the Jays are a good situation for Ohtani and that they have done their due diligence with him could have been done for several reasons. If it was done purely to "impress" Jays fans into thinking the front office is being proactive or trying to win in 2018, then I think you're overestimating how much this front office (or any front office really) cares about the casual fan. Talking up interest in Lorenzo Cain would probably make more of an impression on casual fans since they might actually know who he is.


I doubt it, honestly. There's more hype surrounding Otani than Cain, who isn't a particularly flashy player even for the supposed casual fan who catches a lot of Royals games. Those that appreciate Cain tend to be the ones who spend as much time on Fangraphs as they do with their significant other, and they're well-acquainted with both Cain and Otani.

Signing him is a 1/30 chance. The odds are not good. I think anyone who knows anything about the situation would understand that and not pre-order Ohtani jerseys because Atkins declared his love for him in a media session before the player was even posted. I really don't think it's a big deal. He's clearly being sincere when he talks about Ohtani since the cost to acquire him is practically nothing by baseball standards, so he has no reason to hype it up like it's going to be a huge outlay in cash.


Signing him is a 1/30 chance. Might be less, actually. But this is a time-honoured technique for our organization: we are a marketing club with a baseball department. And whether it's rumoured big signings or rumoured big trades, we have always had a fondness for hype, one that I think is increased because of the structure of team-related media...a bit of hype means fan interest, it gets clicks on Rogers-owned websites, eyeballs on TV, and people to tune the dial to the FAN. When there's money to be made every step of the way, it's not hard to see why we feed a good bit of futile anticipation.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#39 » by Tanner » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 pm

Schad wrote:Good news! If you offer glowing praise of a player on, say, the sports site which shares the same owner as the club, and perhaps on the TV channel which shares the same owner as the club, and maybe the radio stations which share the same owner as the club, then the casual fans might not know a great deal about the player, but they will know that i) he's reputed to be extremely good, and ii) the Jays are pulling out all the stops for him.


Agreed, but what does that really accomplish? The odds are not good for signing him, so Atkins saying what he said would actually be to his own detriment if he was trying to get fans excited due to the inevitable disappointment if/when he signs elsewhere. That is why I don't think he was doing it for that reason. Fans will spend money if the team actually signed Ohtani, since then the hype would be meaningful, but talking up interest in him is a different story. It's a fluff article the media can post in November when nothing else is happening.

One thing i got from his quotes is his faith in the team's high performance department. I'm sure that is his pitch to every free agent since it's something unique about the org, and hyping that particular part of the org up would certainly be beneficial to say in front of the media where everyone can hear about it.


I doubt it, honestly. There's more hype surrounding Otani than Cain, who isn't a particularly flashy player even for the supposed casual fan who catches a lot of Royals games. Those that appreciate Cain tend to be the ones who spend as much time on Fangraphs as they do with their significant other, and they're well-acquainted with both Cain and Otani.


Ohtani is clearly the best FA available, but Cain could be sold to casual fans pretty well I would think. Hits for average, steals bases, good defender, best player on a team that won the World Series in '15, etc. I'm sure they could sell hype there. A lot of this fan base still misses Ben Revere. The bar is not high for impressing casuals.


Signing him is a 1/30 chance. Might be less, actually. But this is a time-honoured technique for our organization: we are a marketing club with a baseball department. And whether it's rumoured big signings or rumoured big trades, we have always had a fondness for hype, one that I think is increased because of the structure of team-related media...a bit of hype means fan interest, it gets clicks on Rogers-owned websites, eyeballs on TV, and people to tune the dial to the FAN. When there's money to be made every step of the way, it's not hard to see why we feed a good bit of futile anticipation.


The media has reason to hype it up, yes. The media has reason to hype up anything baseball related this time of year. I just don't think the front office cares as much about perception as some seem to think they do. Certainly the last two off seasons prove that. Ohtani fits everything that Shapiro and Atkins mention when they go on the radio; getting younger, higher upside, "championship calibre players", etc. Atkins might have gotten hopes up by saying what he said, I'm not denying that, but I don't think he deliberately said it for that reason.
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Re: Shohei Otani confirmed. Jays have chance? 

Post#40 » by polo007 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:31 pm

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