Ohtani’s agent sent a questionnaire to teams this week, allowing the Phillies to make their case, according to MLB.com. Because Ohtani is beholden to Major League Baseball’s rules regarding signing bonuses for international free agents, the most he can make is $3.55 million. The Phils have only $900,000 remaining in their international bonus pool to offer him.
But because the bonus is limited — Ohtani would likely make at least $100 million as a traditional free agent — other factors will come into play.
That is why the questionnaire asks teams to evaluate Ohtani as a pitcher and hitter, explain the organization’s player development, medical and athletic training philosophies, detail its Major League, Minor League and Spring Training facilities, describe the resources for Ohtani’s cultural assimilation into its city, offer a vision for how Ohtani will integrate into its organization and make a case for why its team and city is a good place to play.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler played in Japan in 2005, so he has familiarity with Japanese baseball and its culture. He is a progressive thinker who tried to make the Dodgers the healthiest team in professional sports when he became their player development director a few years ago: