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Ross Atkins, Blue Jays “extremely prepared” to make bid on Shohei Otani

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Atkins said he “can’t imagine a better fit.”

Netherlands v Japan - International Friendly
Pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani #16 of Japan hits a double, which is stuck on ceiling of the stadium, in the seventh inning during the international friendly match between Netherlands and Japan at the Tokyo Dome on November 13, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan.
Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

Speaking to reporters at the GM meetings at Disney World in Florida, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said that Toronto is "extremely prepared" to make a bid on Japanese sensation Shohei Otani when he's made available to Major League teams, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.

“He fits about as well anybody could fit for our team right now,” said Atkins to Davidi. “He’s an incredible talent.”

Atkins said that the Blue Jays seem like the "perfect fit" for Otani, and that he's open to keeping Otani as a two-way player in the major leagues.

“Our emphasis on recovery, our emphasis on preparation, our emphasis on what it takes to realize all of your potential is at the forefront,” Atkins told the Toronto Sun. “And the fact that we’re in the American League and we have the DH spot allows for more patience and more versatility in that area.”

Otani, both an outfielder and pitcher, has been one of the best players outside of North America in the past two years. In 2017, Otani had an on-base percentage of .403 over 231 plate appearances and an ERA of 3.20 in 25.1 innings pitched. Otani struggled with injuries in 2017, but in 2016, he posted a 1.86 ERA in 140.0 innings with better offensive numbers over more time.

“I can’t imagine a better fit quite frankly,” said Atkins. “He fits about as well as anybody could fit for our team right now and he’s an incredible talent.”


Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer and the first Blue Jay hitting coach Bobby Doerr has died at age 99, the Red Sox announced Tuesday morning.

Here’s Boston’s statement on Doerr’s passing:

Bobby Doerr, regarded as the greatest second baseman in Boston Red Sox history, passed away yesterday at 99 years old in Junction City, OR.

Born on April 7, 1918 in Los Angeles, Doerr was the oldest living major league player prior to his passing. He is the only member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to live to be 99 years old.

Doerr played each of his 14 seasons with Boston (1937-44, 1946-51) before retiring at age 33 due to a back injury. He also served as a scout for the Red Sox from 1957-66, as well as a first base coach and hitting instructor from 1967-69. Following his career with the Red Sox, Doerr was the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in the franchise’s first five years of existence (1977-81).

After he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986 by the Veterans Committee, Doerr’s uniform number (1) was retired by the Red Sox in 1988. He was inducted into the inaugural Red Sox Hall of Fame class in 1995.


The latest from Giancarlo Stanton trade talks:

  • Buster Olney reports that the Miami Marlin’s asking price for Stanton is viewed as “shockingly high and somewhat out of touch with reality” by some teams, given the $295 million he’s owed.
  • Seven teams have showed interest in Stanton, although the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants have had the most “intense interest” in the outfielder.

The latest in the New York Yankees managerial search:

  • Yesterday, Carlos Beltran, on the same day he retired, has already become connected to the Yankees’ managerial position. Beltran himself said that he wouldn’t “rule out” being interviewed for the open spot.
  • Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a lot of people I’m looking forward to talking to. They have various backgrounds . . . It’s going to take some time, but there are a lot of good baseball people out there. This is an exciting opportunity.”

Follow Mark Colley on Twitter: @MarkColley.