Shohei Ohtani reportedly narrows choice of MLB teams to five

Kevin Maitan

News began leaking out on Sunday that several teams - including the New York Yankees, the team many considered the front-runner to land Ohtani - were being told they were out of the running.

Reports have surfaced that Otani is likely leaning toward a West Coast team in a smaller market, but with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's reputation as master salesmen, the Cubs are still very much a threat to land Otani, according to reports. All the advantages of playing on the West Coast and in Los Angeles, but with the DH option that may make it easier to employ him as a two-way player than it would be for the Dodgers.

Ohtani, 23, is interested in getting opportunities to pitch and hit, as he is proven capable of doing both extremely well in Japan.

The Seattle Mariners are actively in the hunt for Shohei Ohtani. "That was something that, presentation or not, might be hard to overcome". "But I did get a sense that I can't change that we're a big market and I can't change we're in the East".

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While Ohtani may be out of Colorado's reach, there is another Japanese pitcher who will be eligible to play in Major League Baseball in 2018 that could be of interest to the Rockies.

Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

The bitter Yankees fan in me hopes Ohtani signs with the Padres so that he becomes absolutely irrelevant. Don't underestimate the ability of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to lure in the guy they want, similar to when they signed Jon Lester as a free agent before the 2015 season. Just know that when/if you play at Yankee Stadium, we're going to let you hear about it.

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