Sports

Japanese star Ohtani whittles list of potential teams

Japanese star Ohtani whittles list of potential teams

That list followed reports Sunday that the Yankees, who many had expected to be a significant factor in the sweepstakes, had been eliminated from consideration.

The Mariners have a long history of Japanese stars, and when the Angels acquired more than $1 million in global bonus money last week in a trade with the Atlanta Braves, general manager Billy Eppler said he would apply it to a pursuit of Ohtani.

The Yankees were not the only team to learn they would not be in the running for Ohtani.

NY general manager Brian Cashman confirmed to reporters Sunday night that his club was out of the running.

The 23-year-old Japanese star faces a December 22 deadline to close a deal with the Major League Baseball team of his choice.

"I know that our presentation was excellent", Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

In fact, outside of five teams all on the west coast of the United States, Ohtani severely narrowed down his field of potential employers. "I can't change that that we're a big market and I can't change we're in the East".

Any team that signs Ohtani must pay a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement. A handful of teams, including San Diego, have been invited to make their pitches to Ohtani and his representatives beginning this week in Los Angeles.

Shohei Ohtani will not sign with the Mets, much to the surprise of, well, no one really.


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