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Heyman: Blue Jays, Angels, and Dodgers were three finalists for Shohei Ohtani

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Photo credit:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
The fallout from Shohei Ohtani signing a $700 million deal will persist for quite a few days.
On Saturday evening, a Jon Heyman interview was released by MLB Network with quite a few interesting tidbits. You can watch the full three-minute interview below.
Let’s dive into what he said, and why he believes Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers didn’t know they were getting him until Saturday morning:

Heyman noted that the Dodgers actually didn’t know that they were getting Ohtani until “late Friday night or early Saturday morning”.
This would go along with other reports from journalists that stated that no decision has been made after J.P. Hoornstra’s errant leak about the Blue Jays signing him on Friday.
It seems like the Jays were in the running until the end, which leads to Heyman’s next point…

There were three finalists:

Throughout the saga, we heard that there were several finalists attempting to sign the best player in history. Heyman revealed them to be the Los Angeles Dodgers (duh), the Los Angeles Angels, and the Toronto Blue Jays. He also mentioned that both the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs were also in the running, but he made it seem like they didn’t have as much of a chance as the other three teams.
The whole situation is sad because it really does feel demoralizing. However, a positive to take away from this whole saga is that Rogers is looking to spend money since their deal for the NHL rights will soon be up. It’s also nice to see the front office looking to add a game changer.

Geography was important:

It’s been long speculated that Ohtani signed with the Angels in 2017 because it is one of the shortest plane rides to his home country of Japan.
Of course, the weather in Southern California is beautiful year round, and according to Heyman, Ohtani loves the region as he reiterated numerous times during the interview.
Toronto is nice, especially in the summer, but it’s hard to beat Los Angeles’ weather.

Consistently winning was a big factor:

There’s a notion out there that there’s such a thing as a “window of contention”, which just isn’t true if a team knows how to scout, win trades, and spend money.
The Blue Jays as it stands, are one of those teams that could have a very long window of consistently making the playoffs, but it really depends if Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette re-sign. Toronto has certainly spent, won more trades than they’ve lost, and drafting has been better in recent seasons.
But the Dodgers are the king of the “never-ending window of contention”. The last time they missed the playoffs was all the way back in 2012, and the last time they finished with a losing record was 2005. In fact, since 2012, they’ve failed to win the National League West just once, and they still had a 106-56 record that season.
Sure, they have one ring from it all, but making the playoffs every season gives a team the best chance to become a dynasty, and adding Shohei Ohtani only makes them that much better.

What to take away from this interview:

The Dodgers were always the favourites, so it’s not too surprising to see them land the two-way superstar. Heyman even noted that it wasn’t about the money (as evident by the deferrals), so how much of a chance did the Jays truly have?
At the end of the day, I don’t believe the Jays were just being used as leverage for Ohtani. There was truly some interest from both parties, it just seemed like the Dodgers were the more appealing option for the superstar.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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