Cubs chosen to meet with Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani

Padres among finalists for Shohei Ohtani

Cubs chosen to meet with Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani has narrowed his choice to seven teams - the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs - according to multiple reports.

Reports have surfaced that Otani is likely leaning toward a West Coast team in a smaller market, but with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's reputation as master salesmen, the Cubs are still very much a threat to land Otani, according to reports. And no manager is willing to move players around like Joe Maddon, so Ohtani could play some right field against right-handed pitchers with Jason Heyward shifting over to center. The New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers are also among the teams told they won't sign Ohtani. "The feedback from that was outstanding". "I can't change that that we're a big market and I can't change we're in the East".

Ohtani has been put up for bid by the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee.

Brian Cashman, the Yankees general manager, revealed that Ohtani's representatives informed him that Ohtani, one of the most intriguing players to come out of Japan in more than a decade, will not choose the Yankees. He must finalize a contract by December 22. By leaving Japan at 23, Ohtani can only sign a standard major-league rookie contract, and his signing bonus cannot exceed $3.535 million. Instead, he'll be posted and teams will be limited to offering bonuses from their pool of global signing money.

Among the teams meeting with Ohtani are the Rangers, who have the most global money to offer ($3.54 million) and the Giants, who have $1.84 million available.

We have also heard that Ohtani reportedly likes the pitch the Giants made of possibly playing the outfield as well as pitch.

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