Shohei Ohtani MLB rumors: Ohtani has reportedly narrowed field to seven teams
The Japanese phenom will meet with seven suitors before deciding where to sign
The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes moves forward this week in earnest and multiple reports (Ken Rosenthal here) indicate that Ohtani will meet with just seven teams this week. Those teams are the Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Angels, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs.
Every other team is out, per multiple reports, so Ohtani will join one of those seven teams.
What can we glean from this? Well, Ohtani seems to prefer to be more West, though the Cubs and Rangers aren't close to the West coast. The Cubs in general seem weird here, as they can only pay Ohtani a $300,000 signing bonus compared to north of $3.5 million that the Rangers could pay. Simply, it seems like the Cubs must have knocked it out of the park in Ohtani's questionnaire.
We can also take away here that Ohtani -- while he wants to play both ways -- definitely doesn't seem to favor the American League where the DH is available on a more regular basis. Four of the finalists here are NL teams.
Market size doesn't seem to be a factor, either, because the Cubs, Angels and Dodgers are huge markets while the Padres are very small.
Take note of the discrepancy between what the Cubs and Rangers can pay and we can again see that money isn't really the driving factor.
No, instead, it seems that we just don't really know what Ohtani is looking for and your guess is as good as mine. We have no clue where he wants to play or why. That's pretty fun.
Stay tuned throughout the next two weeks, as the story will surely continue to develop ad we'll continue to update you along every step of the way.
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