Rumor Mill: Shohei Otani & Hyun Jin Ryu Updates, Out On Torii Hunter, Scout Signings

So a popular question lately has been: “What the hell happened to Shohei Otani?”

In short? Nothing, because despite whatever speculation there had been about MLB teams technically having no need to respect NPB exclusivity rights, like I said in a previous post about the situation, I see no upside for an MLB team to just barge in and violate the status quo.

Basically, the latest on the Otani front is that the Nippon Ham Fighters are meeting with his parents and what not, but not him, personally. There have been zero contract talks, so while the media is saying a bunch of stuff (and editorializing a bit), it doesn’t seem like there’s anything substantial going on that would be worth reporting if it wasn’t for the nature of this situation.

As I said, just wait.

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Speaking of potential signings out of Asia, Stan Kasten is saying that they might not sign Hyun Jin Ryu until after the Winter Meetings, which end only a few days before the deadline.

According to Kasten, the Dodgers might not determine whether to sign Ryu until after they see what pitchers they can acquire in trade or free agency by the time the winter meetings end Dec. 6.

“That’s a decision that doesn’t have to be made until after the winter meetings are over,” Kasten said.

Doubt this means anything since Scott Boras tends to drag situations like these out to the bitter end to extract every penny he can anyway.

I expect Ryu to sign and deserve to be in the rotation over Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly but start the year in AAA anyway because the former two are veterans or whatever garbage excuse they will use.

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Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that the Dodgers are out on Torii Hunter.

Good.

Did anybody really think he made sense?

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In what is probably the best news of the off-season, the Dodgers went on an international scout hiring spree.

Colletti said the hiring spree is probably over after essentially acquiring the international scouting staff of the Seattle Mariners. Two weeks ago the Dodgers hired Bob Engle as vice president of international scouting and Monday they brought on six of his Mariners staff — Pedro Avila, Gene Grimaldi, Patrick Guerrero, Pat Kelly, Jamey Storvick and Mike Tosar.

The Dodgers on Monday also announced the additions of Josh Bard as special assistant, player personnel and professional scouts Willie Fraser and Scott Groot. Former Dodgers third baseman Bill Mueller, who served as special assistant, player personnel, will become a full-time professional scout.

“The fact the Dodgers were dead last in international signings, that was hard to believe,” said Kasten. “For me, it’s a priority, and not just signing players as the end result, but getting the people to sign the players.”

“We’ve doubled the size of the [international] scouting operation,” said Colletti. “A couple years ago when we traded veterans, we looked at other organizations and saw a lot of the successful teams got a lot of players not born in the U.S. It was time for us to get back invested in it.”

For me, this is probably the best part about the new ownership thus far.

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