Free-agent right-hander Adam Ottavino isn't short on confidence as he looks for work this winter.
"I had an argument with a coach in Triple-A about Babe Ruth's effectiveness in today's game," Ottavino told Mike Petriello on MLB.com's Statcast Podcast. "... I said, 'Babe Ruth, with that swing, swinging that bat, I got him hitting .140 with eight homers.'"
"He was like, 'are you nuts? Babe Ruth would hit .370 with 60 homers,' and I'm like, 'I would strike Babe Ruth out every time.' I'm not trying to disrespect him, you know, rest in peace, you know, shout out to Babe Ruth. But, it was a different game, I mean the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did. It was just a different game."
Ruth was one of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history. He most notably hit 60 home runs in 1927, setting a record that would stand for over three decades before Roger Maris hit 61 with the benefit of a longer season.
The Hall of Famer also memorably used a 54-ounce bat for portions of his career and faced slower-throwing pitchers before the sport had integrated.
Ottavino is considered one of the top relievers in a free-agent market led by right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel and left-handed fireman Andrew Miller. Known for throwing a devastating slider, the 33-year-old authored a 2.43 ERA and 2.74 FIP over 77 2/3 innings with the Colorado Rockies last year, striking out 36.3 percent of batters he faced.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have been mentioned as possible destinations for Ottavino - coincidentally, those are the two franchises Ruth famously played for during his 22-year career before a brief stint with the Boston Braves.