Orioles have interesting reason for not pursuing Ohtani
The Baltimore Orioles were one of the few teams that did not attempt to sign Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, and their decision apparently had nothing to do with scouting reports.
Ohtani, who has the capability to be both a regular pitcher and hitter, was courted by several MLB teams as an international free agent. Due to his low price tag because of his age, nearly every club pursued him. Reports said 27 of the 30 teams were involved. The Orioles fell into the minority.
Ohtani was posted by his Japanese team, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Under this system, an MLB team must pay the player’s team in order to negotiate with the player. The fee for Ohtani was $20 million. Apparently the Orioles were opposed to paying this fee.
Orioles general manager Dan Duequette said on MLB Network Radio that posting isn’t something Baltimore participates in.
— MLB Network Radio Sirius 209, XM 89 (@MLBNetworkRadio) December 10, 2017
It’s unclear whether this is Duquette’s policy or something that comes from ownership. Either way, it’s Baltimore’s loss, though based on Brian Cashman’s comments, they never really had a chance anyhow.
In the end, the Angels will happily pay the fee to land a 23-year-old who should pay immediate dividends and made Angels general manager Billy Eppler fall to the floor. For the Orioles, it wasn’t about the player, but the process.