Shohei Ohtani’s cloak-and-dagger free agent saga has held up the top end of the free-agent and trade markets alike through the offseason’s first several weeks, but a decision from the two-time AL MVP is “imminent” and could be announced at some point today, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. In a segment on MLB Network (video link), Morosi adds that the Blue Jays have improved their standing in the Ohtani derby this week and are a finalist alongside the Dodgers, at the very least.
At last check, the Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Angels and Cubs were all involved in the bidding. The possibility of a dark-horse suitor that’s flown under the radar to this point can’t be ruled out, given the secretive nature of Ohtani’s free agency. Anecdotally, it’s of note that Friday marks six years, to the day, since Ohtani made his last free-agent decision, when he signed with the Angels.
Ohtani and the Blue Jays are believed to have met at the team’s spring training complex in Florida this week. Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts acknowledged during the Winter Meetings that his club had met with Ohtani and considered him their “top priority,” prompting some hand-wringing among Dodger fans that even such a basic acknowledgment of the obvious might work to their detriment. The Giants are reported to have met with Ohtani last weekend at Oracle Park. The incumbent Angels, of course, are already a known and familiar commodity for Ohtani. The Cubs’ status in the bidding remains least certain, though president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer publicly denied reports this week suggesting that his team’s optimism regarding Ohtani had waned.
More to come.
Read More: Shohei Ohtani Decision Reportedly “Imminent” 2023-12-08 14:20:34