- Jul 14, 2005
I think you have to factor in not only a strategic decision to favor one skill set, but a catastrophic injury as well. TJ surgery might take him out for 2 years and end the pitching portion of his career. Is that more or less likely because he's also a position player?I probably didn't do a great job in my post, but my main question here is how much of a premium do you pay for this two way player? What Ohtani is doing is unprecedented in the modern game and you have to wonder if/when he reverts one or the other out of any sort of necessity. It's highly likely that you overpay given the player's high skill set(s), but it's also entirely possible in the case of Ohtani that at some point the team is forced to consider protecting/prolonging their investment by placing Ohtani in the more traditional role of either pitching or hitting. The skills of a more "traditional" player are always a risk to decline as the contract ages and I think teams expect that may happen and accept that as a cost of doing business. With Ohtani there are two different sets of skills and there is the chance that you may have to shut one down in an attempt to preserve the other before that skill set begins to decline. Potential suitors should think long and hard about this as they determine what sort of premium they are willing to pay for this once in our lifetime player.
Ohtani is the kind of guy you want to bring up or first sign - you get two great players for the price of one (essentially.)
But I don't think it makes much sense to pay him full market price on a "lifetime" contract to be two great players going forward. . .
Maybe (and I'm not saying he'd agree), you could give him a primo base salary and have a set of ridiculous escalators based on appearances. I'm not sure if it's even legal under the CBA, but something like $20M (or whatever) based on his value as a DH, with an incentive of $10M for every 10 starts made in a season or 10 saves or whatever in relief appearances. . .with $20M for 20 starts. . .etc.