Shohei Ohtani rules out Red Sox and Yankees, prefers West Coast

Shohei Ohtani Japan
Japan's starter Shohei Otani pitches against South Korea during the first inning of their semifinal game at the Premier12 world baseball tournament at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. –Toru Takahashi/AP Photo

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees and Red Sox are among the teams that pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani has ruled out, and it seems the Japanese star will likely pursue a smaller market nearer to the West Coast.

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

“I know that our presentation was excellent,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “The feedback from that was outstanding. 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.”

Advertisement

Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg confirmed Boston’s elimination from the bidding. The New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers are also among the teams told they won’t sign Ohtani. Brewers general manager David Stearns told MLB.com that “we wish him the best of luck with his decision.”

Ohtani has been put up for bid by the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. The 23-year-old has until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 22 to agree to a contract with an MLB team. Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

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).