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Rangers take step forward in Ohtani pursuit

GM Daniels feels 'very strongly' about what team has to offer Japanese star
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have responded to Shohei Ohtani's agent and his request for more information from clubs interested in signing the two-way Japanese star.

"I feel very strongly about what we have to offer," general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have responded to Shohei Ohtani's agent and his request for more information from clubs interested in signing the two-way Japanese star.

"I feel very strongly about what we have to offer," general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday.

Nez Balelo sent the memo to all Major League teams before Thanksgiving, asking them to outline their evaluation of Ohtani as a player as well as their Minor League development and scouting philosophy, training and medical staff, Spring Training facilities and how the player will be able to assimilate into the team and the community. The fact that Ohtani wants to pitch and hit in the Major Leagues will be a significant factor in any discussion.

Video: Castrovince discusses how Ohtani may join the Rangers

Financial terms were not to be included. The agent was basically asking why Ohtani would be a good fit for that particular team.

"I think our guys did a really good job of presenting who we are as an organization and what we have to offer as a community," Daniels said.

The Rangers also have $3,535,000 to spend in international bonus money. Right now, that's the most any club can spend on Ohtani, although the Yankees are right behind at $3.5 million.

The agent's request for more information suggests Ohtani's decision will come down to factors other than money, but Daniels said that is not unusual for any free agent.

"There are certain cases where money is the deciding factor, but this isn't going to be the only one that it is not," Daniels said. "At the end of the day, we have to present ourselves openly and honestly, and then let the player make the choice."

Video: Evaluating Ohtani's readiness to play in MLB

Ohtani is expected to be officially posted at the end of the week and clubs will have a 21-day window to negotiate a contract with him. The team that Ohtani chooses will also have to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters.

The Rangers have been preparing for this since they tried to sign Ohtani out of high school. They have long established a strong presence in Japan through top scouts Joe Furukawa and Hajime Watabe, and assistant general managers Josh Boyd and Mike Daly. Daniels has made multiple trips to Japan.

"It's a process that we are years into, not days or weeks or months," Daniels said. "This is a player that has interested us at a high level for an extended period of time. This is not something that just came about."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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