MLB’s annual Winter Meetings quickly are approaching, and things are heating up.
As baseball fans will be glued to their phones all weekend waiting for an update on two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan shared a few new details on who remains in the Ohtani sweepstakes.
While some potential suitors have dropped out of the bidding and others remain persistent in landing the Japanese superstar, the Giants’ pursuit of Ohtani is unclear.
“It would be foolish to count out any high-revenue team, though by now the field for Ohtani’s services has winnowed, sources said,” Passan reported Friday morning. “The Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, who were among the initial group of suitors, have turned their attention to other players, sources said. Among those confirmed by sources to be still in the bidding: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and Angels.
“The San Francisco Giants have long had a fondness for Ohtani, though where they stand in these sweepstakes is unknown.”
Unknown doesn’t necessarily mean out, of course. The Giants could be laying low to respect Ohtani’s reported wish of keeping his free-agent meetings private. Passan reported last month that if any meetings with teams are leaked, Ohtani would hold it against the organization.
What is far from a secret, however, is San Francisco’s interest in Ohtani.
The Giants haven’t been shy about being prepared to go “all in” on the former Los Angeles Angels star. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that the Giants are “devoting their whole heart and finances” to landing Ohtani or another top free agent, starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Ohtani was named the unanimous American League Most Valuable Player after his dominant two-way 2023 season. It’s the second time in three seasons that he has unanimously won AL MVP, making him the first two-time unanimous MVP in MLB history.
The 29-year-old reportedly could sign soon, potentially at or before the MLB Winter Meetings on Dec. 4-7 in Nashville.
The Dodgers have long been considered the favorites to sign Ohtani, but as of now, it’s anyone’s game.