Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Although the initial quiet period with MLB free agency was lifted at the beginning of this week, the market largely is not expected to move until Shohei Ohtani makes a decision on which team to sign with.
Ohtani is at the center of the buzz surrounding the General Managers meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, although Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Brandon Gomes, along with other executives, declined to discuss specifics involving expected pursuits of Ohtani.
The 29-year-old is a free agent for the first time in his career. When he last was on the open market after being posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, it led to signing a modest contract due to restrictions on international free agents younger than 25 years old.
Now Ohtani has a chance to sign what’s expected to be the most lucrative contract in MLB history, and according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, there’s some belief the two-way All-Star has essentially decided which team to join:
“A friend of Ohtani said he believes Ohtani already knows where he wants to sign. He’ll go through the process — standing back as his agent negotiates and works to goose the final numbers — but in the end, Ohtani will drive this thing. So maybe the bidding doesn’t matter that much, so long as the team he wants to play for steps up with a decent offer. And my guess is that’ll be the Dodgers. “
In addition to the Angels, Ohtani met with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners when making the jump from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) ahead of the 2018 MLB season.
The Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Rangers and Mariners have been speculated as potential landing spots for Ohtani in free agency.
Andrew Friedman determined to sign Shohei Ohtani
The Dodgers’ interest in Ohtani has long been reported, and now with an opportunity to add the remarkable talent, Friedman reportedly is focused on coming to terms on a contract.
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