Reds among teams interested in Japan’s ‘Babe Ruth’

Team’s GM was in attendance for right-hander’s most recent start


Reds general manager Dick Williams was among those in attendance Wednesday to watch Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani pitch for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Ohtani, 23, is expected to enter the American free-agent market this offseason. While larger market teams such as the Dodgers and Yankees are considered favorites, the Reds have surprised competitors before (Aroldis Chapman, anyone?).

»HAL MCCOY: Gold not good enough for Reds’ Hamilton

"I want to let the fans know we are serious about our investment in Asia," Williams told mlb.com. He also met with the Ham Fighters general manager but couldn’t meet Ohtani because of rules restriction.

Ohtani pitched a 10-strikeout, two-hit shutout. He also collected a hit. Ohtani is often referred to as a Japanese Babe Ruth, a rare talent who excels at hitting and pitching.

»RELATED: Reds lose pitcher to Cubs

But Ohtani will require a posting fee plus his salary. It’s easier for a larger market team to pay the fee rather than a team like the Reds. Additionally, the posting fee only opens negotiations; it doesn’t guarantee signing.

Due to MLB’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are limited to signings between $4.75 million and $5.75 million from July 2 to June 2018. That spending can be increased by up to $10 million via trades.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Kentucky Basketball: How the Wildcats stack up against the rest of the SEC
Kentucky Basketball: How the Wildcats stack up against the rest of the SEC

We tackle the best question asked by Kentucky fans every day. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet to Kyle Tucker  here and Joe Mussatto  here. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday.  Hunter Brown asks a good basketball question as league play is just around the...
NFL signs massive streaming deal with major carrier
NFL signs massive streaming deal with major carrier

The NFL and Verizon are teaming up to make it easier than ever to watch football on Sundays. “Verizon will pay approximately $2.5 billion in the five-year deal with the NFL, sources told ESPN. That would be roughly twice the annual price of Verizon’s previous deal with the league,” reported Darren Rovell....
Cincinnati Reds: Votto named Canada’s athlete of the year
Cincinnati Reds: Votto named Canada’s athlete of the year

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto on Tuesday was named Canada’s athlete of the year for 2017. Votto is the 79th recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy. He also won the award in 2010. The 34-year-old Toronto native beat out finalists Sidney Crosby (hockey), Mikael Kingsbury (skiing), Alex Harvey (skiing) and Rachel Homan (curling). Votto was...
South Carolina recruiting: Channing Tindall mulling weekend visit plans
South Carolina recruiting: Channing Tindall mulling weekend visit plans

ROEBUCK, S.C. – Four-star linebacker Channing Tindall, one of the top South Carolina recruiting targets for 2018, is nearing his decision. Three SEC schools are the primary contenders for the No. 91 overall prospect in country: Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina. Tindall’s plans, for the most part, remain unchanged...
Alabama football: How will Crimson Tide handle Clemson’s defensive front?
Alabama football: How will Crimson Tide handle Clemson’s defensive front?

The Sugar Bowl  is still weeks away, but we’ll be tackling the best question from Alabama football fans each day. Look for our Alabama Question of the Day every Tuesday through Friday.  Alabama football earned the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff. It will be the Crimson Tide&rsquo...
More Stories