Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman, Dave Roberts Describe Pursuits Of Shohei Ohtani And Giancarlo Stanton

After overcoming obstacles and hammering through negotiations over the posting system for Japanese players, two-way star Shohei Ohtani was at last made available to interested MLB clubs. That overlapped with the Miami Marlins putting Giancarlo Stanton on the trading block.

The two players largely held up MLB business, as clubs awaited resolutions on both fronts. Because Ohtani is just 23-years-old, he was not able to sign a contract like any other free agent would, and teams were limited to using their amateur international bonus pool money.

So the recruiting process for Ohtani was less focused on the financial aspect, and more on other aspects like how teams would envision using him on the field, market size, geography, etc. In Stanton’s case, trade talks very much centered around the remaining salary on a record contract.

After narrowing his list down to seven teams, with five being on the West Coast, Ohtani decided to signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were among the seven finalists for Ohtani, and also were involved for Stanton before he was traded to the New York Yankees.

In an interview that aired on “Access: SportsNet Dodgers,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman described the pursuit of Ohtani that dated back a few years, via SportsNet LA:

“It’s been a long process. It’s something that since I got to the Dodgers three years ago, has been front of mind and something we’ve had numerous meetings about over the last three years to set up our scouting looks and get to know him as well as we could. Obviously, at the end of the day, we’re disappointed. But I think the process and teamwork that went into putting together our presentation, we knew we had an uphill battle with the DH, so we tried to put together a presentation that showed some compelling reasons of why the National League would be a good spot for him.”

At the Winter Meetings, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts touched on the organization’s involvement with both Ohtani and Stanton. “We were very in tune with both those players,” he told reporters.

“I think I can speak for us and putting our best foot forward. They landed elsewhere, but I think that, obviously, impactful players. But as an organization, you’ve just got to continue to move forward. We’ve got a pretty good nucleus already and obviously intrigued by those two players. But we’re moving on.”

For as much as the Dodgers may have pursued Ohtani and Stanton, they won’t see much of either. There’s the annual Freeway Series with the Angels, but facing Stanton would not come unless the Dodgers and Yankees both reach the 2018 World Series.