Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Signing Could Take Place During Winter Meetings

After spending six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani reached free agency as the most coveted player in MLB history.

In addition to the Angels, his market has reportedly included the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.

Though, it’s believed the Mariners, Padres, Mets and Red Sox have since fallen out of the running and shifted their focus elsewhere.

Meanwhile, as free agency remains at a crawl due in part to Ohtani — and also Yoshinobu Yamamoto — Jon Heyman said during a live stream on Bleacher Report there is a sense the two-way star may sign with a team during the Winter Meetings in Nashville:

“I’m thinking he may sign at the Winter Meetings, which would be very, very exciting. That seems to be the prevailing opinion at this point. No guarantee. … [Executives] think that Ohtani will be the big signing at the Winter Meetings.”

The 2023 MLB Winter Meetings technically open Sunday, but there is a greater likelihood transactions wouldn’t begin until the following day.

It had previously been reported Ohtani could sign before the Winter Meetings start, but that may not be likely as in-person meetings with finalists are just being held.

The Dodgers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Angels and possibly the Giants are thought to make up that group.

Potential Shohei Ohtani contract

Already having produced a wildly successful career, Ohtani added to his list of accolades with an unprecedented second unanimous American League MVP Award and third consecutive Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.

And despite not being able to pitch in 2024 because of what’s believed to have been a second Tommy John surgery, Ohtani’s market has been robust and the expectation is he will sign a contract worth a minimum of $500 million.

That would represent the largest contract in North American sports history, breaking the record held by Mike Trout when he signed a 12-year, $426.5 million extension in March 2019.

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