The Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox are among the teams that pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani has ruled out, and it seems the Japanese star will likely pursue a smaller market nearer to the West Coast.
New York general manager Brian Cashman confirmed to reporters Sunday night that his club was out of the running. He said the Yankees made an "excellent" presentation but that he "can't change that we're a big market and I can't change we're in the East." Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg confirmed Boston's elimination from the bidding.
The Blue Jays were informed they are not a finalist for Ohtani. GM Ross Atkins: “We felt confident about our presentation and we were given feedback by Shohei Ohtani’s representation that we controlled everything within our power.”— @Feinsand
The New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers are also among the teams told they won't sign Ohtani. Brewers general manager David Stearns told MLB.com that "we wish him the best of luck with his decision."
Ohtani has been put up for bid by the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million US posting fee. The 23-year-old has until 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 22 to agree to a contract with an MLB team.
Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement. The largest deal he could sign is with the Texas Rangers for $3,535,000.
The Seattle Mariners are reportedly now viewed as favourites to land Ohtani.
Several #MLB GMs now believe that the Seattle #Mariners are the clear-cut front runners for Ohtani's services and the Mariners are cautiously optimistic— @BNightengale