Japanese megastar Shohei Ohtani has narrowed the teams that he’s interested in signing with down to seven. The Phillies aren’t on his list of favored destinations and won’t be meeting with the two-way player when he meets with teams that he’s interested in signing with.
The Phillies – as did all other 29 MLB teams – prepared a presentation for Ohtani, but he wasted little time in eliminating 23 of those teams. The teams who are still in the running are the Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres and Rangers.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2017
Ohtani, 23, has a somewhat interesting list. Obviously, there’s a decidedly west coast slant to the list. Money might not be a huge factor, since if Ohtani had waited two more years before signing, he could have been a true free agent and signed with any team for a much larger deal than he’ll get now. At this point, he’s considered an international free agent, so teams have to use their international signing bonus money to get him. Also, Ohtani eliminated three of the four teams with the most amount of money available; the Pirates, Twins and Yankees. He did include the team with the highest amount of money to spend in the Texas Rangers, who have approximately $3.5-million.
The Phillies added to their international money in a couple of trades during the season, perhaps with an eye toward enticing Ohtani, but that won’t happen.
Interesting too, is the fact that the list includes some smaller market teams. He also has a good mix of American and National League teams, which is interesting, because it’s thought that he may serve as a designated hitter on the days that he doesn’t pitch. Some NL teams might entertain the possibility of having him play in the outfield when he’s not pitching.