TORONTO – The next few days will be pivotal for the free agency of Shohei Ohtani, the two-way superstar who’s soon expected to land the biggest contract in MLB history.
While team executives are uniformly quiet on the sweepstakes out of respect for Ohtani, other industry sources with knowledge of the process say the negotiations are entering their final stretch with a small group of teams expected to meet with the 29-year-old and his CAA Sports representatives in Los Angeles this weekend.
Industry sources continue to view the Los Angeles Dodgers as the clear leading suitor for Ohtani, who’s already comfortable in the Los Angeles area after spending his first six big-league seasons playing for the Angels. Not only are the Dodgers one of MLB’s most consistently competitive franchises, the L.A. media market offers endless marketing opportunities.
Yet select other teams remain involved, and while Toronto Blue Jays executives have consistently declined to comment on Ohtani, others in the industry say they’re in a small group of clubs still pushing to land the two-time MVP. The Chicago Cubs are also believed to be involved, while the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels haven’t been ruled out.
However, the Texas Rangers, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox “have turned their attention to other players,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Friday.
One way or another, Ohtani’s decision will create huge ripple effects in the industry and it now appears that decision could be coming soon.