Shohei Ohtani’s free agency plans remain a mystery, but recent reports suggest he has narrowed his list of suitors down to a handful of teams. The group is comprised of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Atlanta Braves were speculated as a potential fit for Ohtani, but their level of interest has since been refuted. Some consider the San Francisco Giants to still be in the running as well, and they reportedly hosted him at Oracle Park over the weekend.
While it was previously reported Ohtani could sign at the 2023 MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, that is no longer considered a likely scenario.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Ohtani is getting closer to a decision but will likely take more time before choosing his next team:
“Despite the rampant rumors, unless someone suddenly writes a $1 billion check, Ohtani is not signing at the winter meetings. But, at least, he’s getting a little closer.”
Nightengale added that Ohtani is expected to sign before Christmas:
“But sorry, Ohtani is not on the verge of a decision. Give it a week, certainly before the Christmas holidays, but not quite yet.”
While Ohtani’s free agency has been clouded in uncertainty, it is believed he has prioritized signing with a contending team. Furthermore, it has been previously reported that Ohtani may prefer to remain in Southern California, though nothing is concrete.
All of those factors continue to point to the Dodgers as being the favorites to sign Ohtani. In addition to their deep pockets, the two-way star is said to have respect for the organization’s forward-thinking ways.
Ohtani is primed to sign a record-setting contract that should easily top $500 million and possibly inch closer to a whopping $600 million.
Dodgers meeting with Shohei Ohtani
While other clubs have kept private about their meetings with Ohtani, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed Ohtani was in for a visit at Dodger Stadium last week, and the skipper believes the meeting that lasted around two or three hours was productive.
Although there was a belief Ohtani did not want his meetings with teams leaked, Roberts replied he didn’t want to lie when asked about it and doesn’t think it will affect their chances of signing him.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!