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Report: Free agent Shohei Ohtani not expected to sign before Winter Meetings conclude

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Photo credit:Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
2 months ago
While the rumour mill is out of control, it may still be a little while until two-way star Shohei Ohtani – one of the biggest free agents in baseball history – announces a decision that’ll send shockwaves throughout the sport, according to a recent report from the New York Post’s Jon Heyman.
As baseball executives assembled in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday to kick off the annual Winter Meetings, one question remained the focal point: where will Ohtani sign in free agency?
But, as Heyman reports, the sense around the industry is that the reigning American League MVP – and his fellow countryman Yoshinobu Yamamoto, considered the top starting pitcher available on the open market – likely won’t ink a new contract before the proceedings in “Smashville” wrap on Wednesday.
Several reports have indicated that Ohtani and his representatives have been meeting with finalists, which reportedly includes the Toronto Blue Jays, in Los Angeles, Calif., since the start of this past weekend. Heyman believes those meetings will continue after Wednesday, with bidding rumoured to have already exceeded $500 million and could reach upwards of $600 million.
On Monday, general manager Ross Atkins had to pull a last-minute switch ahead of his scheduled meeting with local reporters, shifting from an in-person scrum to a Zoom call. He also refused to disclose his current location, citing “scheduling conflicts.”
If you read between the lines, it’s relatively easy to decipher Atkins’ whereabouts.
Trying to determine when and where Ohtani will sign is a bit of a fool’s game, with teams prioritizing secrecy out of respect for the 29-year-old phenom. Even so, it’s no secret the Blue Jays are big-game hunting for, perhaps, the biggest star this game has ever seen.
Not even season-ending elbow surgery – forcing him to take a year off from pitching – is expected to dampen Ohtani’s market as everyone waits anxiously for his version of “The Decision.”

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