Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Free Agency Decision Approaching

As the 2023 MLB Winter Meetings come to a conclusion, free agent superstar Shohei Ohtani remains unsigned as he decides on his next club.

There was previously a belief Ohtani may sign before or during the Winter Meetings, but that was delayed as he continued to meet with teams.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed the team met with Ohtani at Dodger Stadium, and it’s believed he also visited with the Blue Jays and Giants as well.

With the meetings now done, Ohtani is in the final stages of his decision and according to J.P. Morosi of MLB Network, the two-way superstar is expected to choose his next club in the coming days:

“I think the important thing here is that he is days away from deciding, according to what a lot of people close to this process have told me here this week. Again, it may not be today, but it’s going to be soon. By all accounts, we now know the Dodgers have met with him, there are strong indications that the Giants and Blue Jays both met with him, the Angels, of course, they’ve got that home field advantage, so to speak. So he has met with all the finalists now, and it’s decision time. It is decision time for Shohei Ohtani.”

Morosi then added the decision is expected to come before the end of the weekend:

The Dodgers remain the front-runners for Ohtani by all accounts, and it’s believed he’s going to sign a contract that could reach $600 million total over the next decade. If Ohtani does not head to L.A., the Blue Jays seem to be the second-most likely destination.

Once Ohtani makes his decision, it’s expected the floodgates will open on other moves around the league and the Dodgers certainly have plans already for both if Ohtani signs with them and if he goes elsewhere.

“They’re working tirelessly, and there’s a lot of scenarios and ways that this could go,” Roberts said at the Winter Meetings. “But clearly Shohei’s our top priority. So I still think that we’ve got a lot of people working on other things ultimately to be the best ballclub we can be.”

Dodgers pleased with Shohei Ohtani meeting

Following the Dodgers’ meeting with Ohtani, Roberts shared a positive outlook on how it went. “We talked and I think it went well,” Roberts began.

“I think it went well. But at the end of the day he’s his own man and he’s going to do what’s best for himself, where he feels most comfortable.”

Roberts added the meeting with Ohtani lasted multiple hours and was less about the Dodgers trying to sell themselves and more about getting familiar with each other.

“I don’t know if it was more of a pitch,” Roberts said. “I think it was more of just sort of getting more familiar with him. I think that he had questions for us, just trying to get more of the landscape. But being in this league for six years, he’s got a pretty good idea of the Dodgers, what we’re about, the city itself.

“So, for me, and speaking for our guys, it was just a pleasure to get to spend some time with him.”

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