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LA Dodgers reveal meeting with Shohei Ohtani that ‘went well’

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
2 months ago
Shohei Ohtani and the LA Dodgers met at Dodger Stadium days ago, their manager Dave Roberts revealed Tuesday during a media availability.
The meeting, Roberts said, “went well,” giving the two sides a chance to become “more familiar with each other,” MLB writer Anthony Castrovince reported.
“It was just a pleasure to get to spend some time with him,” Roberts added.
The shocking reveal comes a dozen hours after Ken Rosenthal reported the Jays, too, had met with Ohtani. Their meeting, which Jays GM Ross Atkins and skipper John Schneider have yet to acknowledge happened, is believed to have occurred at the club’s $100m minor league complex in Dunedin, Florida.
And while Schneider didn’t directly comment about Ohtani from the perspective of his potential to sign with the Blue Jays, beyond saying, “we meet with a lot of players,” he did speak on the superstar’s otherworldly talent, acknowledging the excitement generated by teams’ pursuit of him.
Referencing Ohtani’s surgery on his elbow that will keep him off the mound in 2024, Roberts added that the Dodgers’ staff ” is confident that when the time is right, he will pitch again,” and they were willing to “bet on the person.”
“He’s his own man, and he’s going to do what’s best for himself, where he’s most comfortable,” Roberts added.
Roberts’ public comments bucked a trend that Ohtani’s camp, led by agent Nez Balelo, has “warned (teams) that leaking any details of the process would be held against them,” Rosenthal reported.
What the comments mean could be anyone’s guess, but Roberts appears to be speaking with the confidence of someone who feels his club has either locked Ohtani in, or is right in the thick of it, as they’ve been suspected to be.
The other wild card in this is how Ohtani, Balelo, and their camp will feel about the public comments. Known historically as a quiet, reserved person, the name of Ohtani’s dog, which he showed off when he was named AL MVP, isn’t even known. Could the reveal of reported meetings with the Jays, and confirmed reporting of meetings with the Dodgers play into anything? Or how about another report from the San Francisco Chronicle about “indications” of Ohtani meeting with Giants brass Saturday, with “rumblings” of the 6’4″ slugger in town?
All in all, we appear to be inching closer and closer to Ohtani’s decision.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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