What, does Kate Preusser obsessively watch baseball in slow-mo or something? In Dr. D's circle most of the fairer gender are far more well-balanced than he is. Anyway, this Otani article has info-taining breakdowns of Otani's mechanics, and the .gifs of his changeup and slider are tear-jerking.
For all that -- the 97-102 fastball and the two to four different wipeout secondary pitches -- it's probably the rising/cutting action on his fastball that means the most in Major League Baseball. Preusser emphasizes that too. What, is LL trying to become a second Mainframe or what?
Bob Dutton follows on the point that a Darvish-type signing could, probably even is, key to an Otani deal.
But he adroitly points out that Otani wants to sign by the winter meetings, and that it's very unlikely for Darvish, Tanaka or Arietta to sign by then. That takes a lot of wind out of the sails of a Darvish Daily Double type of play. HOWEVER in the English Premier League it is routine -- even required normally -- for a Mariners-like team to recruit an Otani by laying in front of him its budget and its prime targets. Arsenal Gunner fans would not dream of being able to sign their playmaker Mesut Ozil without agreeing WITH HIM on who the next huge-sign striker would be.
Not as common in MLB, or at least not as public. But certainly the M's have the option of laying spreadsheets and intentions in front of Otani. Remember the key point you downloaded off the 'Frame: any MLB team will be paying Otani nothing for three years. If Darvish/Tanaka/Arietta are key to signing him, then that 2nd pitcher is effectively free his first three years (think of yourself as paying $25M per year for Otani and zip for Tanaka).
Yeah, but what if it takes 6/$175 to sign Tanaka and he's only worth $5M per year the last three years? Also fine, since you effectively paid a mere 6/$100M for him in the first place.
If you are new to the game, teams have been doing this since the Free Agency era started - paying huge deals with the expectation of getting nothing back late in the deal. Dutton's article today notes that the Mariners expected this with Robinson Cano, and have already been pleasantly surprised by his career arc. For some reason this paradigm evades fans constantly.
Zoom opined that Dutton is nearing retirement, which would explain him (Dutton, not Zoom!) acting more this offseason like a Red Sox / Yankee baseball reporter or like Geoff Baker would - that is to say, like somebody reporting on the team, being tough but fair. As opposed to working as a quasi-employee of the ballclub as they usually do in Seattle.
So, Read. Him.