In a massive development in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, the Japanese phenom has informed the Yankees and Red Sox that he will not sign with them, per reports from Brendan Kuty of NJ.com and Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, respectively. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Twins are out of the running as well. Lastly, a tweet from Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan further informs that the Giants and Mariners are amongst an as-yet-unknown number of finalists.
The Yankees in particular had been viewed as something of a favorite for Ohtani due to the size of their market and youth of their team, but Ohtani evidently prefers a smaller-market, West Coast team. Neither the Giants nor Mariners are exactly a small market, but their location obviously fits Ohtani’s desires. This information would seem to be good news for teams such as the Athletics, Dodgers and Angels, while it doesn't bode well for any team in a Central or Eastern division.
While today’s development offers much more clarity as to Ohtani’s wants in a team, there are still plenty of variables to consider. For example, it isn’t known whether or not Ohtani prefers playing the outfield to DHing, or being a member of a six-man rotation, which some teams may accommodate. No matter who he signs with, Ohtani’s debut will be highly anticipated, with his raw power, plus speed and, of course, excellent pitching, sure to tantalize fans from coast to coast, and of course those from his native Japan.
It’s certain that more news on the chase for the “Japanese Babe Ruth” will continue to pour out in the coming hours and days, and we at MLBDD will update you on every development.