Shohei Otani has announced today that he will hold a press conference on Sunday, and, according to Sanspo, the expectation is that he will say he has chosen to stay in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
On Dec. 7, Nippon Ham announced that Shohei Otani will hold a news conference on Dec. 9 in the Iwate Prefecture. It’s expected that Otani will announce that he has decided to sign and play for Nippon Ham.
At this news conference, it is expected that his parents, Nippon Ham’s lead scout, Nippon Ham’s manager, and Nippon Ham’s general manager will be in attendance along with him.
Previously, Otani was determined to sign with an MLB team, and he expressed his desire to not be drafted by any NPB teams. But Nippon Ham decided to draft him in the first round despite his pleas, and due to the strong words and persistence of Nippon Ham’s manager, Otani now seems set to sign with Nippon Ham.
Can’t disagree with any of what the article says, as I doubt he would announce that he’s going to America in the presence of three top Nippon Ham officials.
Still, it’s quite the turnaround from the time he was drafted, when he basically gave the Fighters no chance to sign him. However, as I feared, slowly the team got to him and convinced him that staying was the right move.
As I said previously, there was optimism surrounding him because he was a first-round talent as an arm, and inking him certainly would have been a boon to the Dodgers depleted system.