Despite a lengthy track record with Japanese stars, the Yankees could not overcome their location, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters.
Shohei Ohtani has narrowed his choice to seven teams - the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs - according to multiple reports. By early Sunday night, most other clubs had been informed they were eliminated from consideration. They spoke on condition of anonymity because not all teams had announced whether they were in or out.
"I know that our presentation was excellent", Cashman said. "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".
In 403 games over four seasons for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japan Pacific League, Ohtani batted.286 with 48 homers, 166 RBIs and a.859 OPS.
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The more surprising storyline is that he said no to the Yankees, who were believed to be the favorites in the sweepstakes for the two-way Japanese superstar. By leaving Japan at 23, Ohtani can only sign a standard major-league rookie contract, and his signing bonus cannot exceed $3.535 million.
The largest deal he could sign is with the Texas Rangers for $3,535,000, followed by the Yankees ($3.5 million), Minnesota ($3.07 million), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1,557,500), Miami ($1.49 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($1,315,000). Instead, he'll be posted and teams will be limited to offering bonuses from their pool of worldwide signing money.
Passan reported Saturday that Ohtani had begun to schedule meetings with teams for this week. The Mariners have reportedly told several of their players to come to LA in order to meet with Ohtani.