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Salk: I am ready to believe ‘franchise-changing player’ Shohei Ohtani to the Mariners is possible

Mike Salk writes that Shohei Ohtani has been labeled a "franchise-changing player." (AP)

I am getting legit pumped about Shohei Ohtani. I’m sure fans in the other six cities that are home to the teams still alive to sign him are too. But I truly believe if you take his desire for a smaller West Coast city seriously, that Seattle is by far the best choice.

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I think he should play on an American League team. That would allow him to DH for a day or two after he pitches. I think it would be a liability for him to play the field on those days. Can you imagine if he uncorked a throw from right field and hurt his arm because he had thrown 100 pitches the day before? No thank you. That leaves the M’s, Angels and Rangers. The Rangers aren’t on the West Coast and Dallas is a huge mess. And Anaheim is a huge city with no real Japanese history for the Angels.

Maybe I am deluding myself, but I am ready to believe that this thing is possible. And I can’t shake the description I keep hearing from people in the game: “franchise-changing player.” That just sounds so darn tempting.

When you see Ohtani’s projections as both a pitcher and as a hitter, there isn’t a single player available who could impact this team more or for a longer time for this low of a price. The only comparisons are Giancarlo Stanton, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Good luck getting those guys.