Milwaukee Brewers: Shohei Otani needs ankle surgery

SAPPORO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 18: Shohei Otani /

Recent news says that International prospect Shohei Otani is going under the knife for ankle surgery. That could be a good thing for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The off season is barely underway for the Milwaukee Brewers, but there is never a time too soon to look for pieces. Otani is not only a prospect, but on all accounts a prize. With a cap on what he is allowed to be offered, it is more of a recruiting challenge than anything else. And this injury could lessen the number of potential suitors.

To be fair, reports are also saying Otani will be back to full health in plenty of time. But for teams with little cap space, it could mean a bow out of if anything related to health is in question. This is where things could get interesting for the Crew.

Milwaukee is a ghost on every report of possible landing spots for the intriguing player. However, Otani poses an answer to the rotation questions if he is as good as advertised. So, this surgery could open the door for the small market team to make a move.

At the bare minimum, David Stearns should at least be making an attempt at Otani. The international cap on potential salary means a top tier arm at a discounted price. Which is a deal too good to pass up. Unfortunately, a lot of GMs will see it that way too, so the biggest hope will be this injury lessening the bidding field.

The other aspect of that international cap is that it would lessen the blow if something were to go wrong with the ankle surgery. There is always a fear of lingering pain, or incompetent work done, that will create a bigger issue. With the limit of contract, it makes taking that risk even easier.

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Otani probably will not end up playing for the Milwaukee Brewers. And there is no guarantee that this news will cause any teams to back out. But if the stars align just right, then things could get very good for the Crew.