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Seven finalists for Shohei Ohtani revealed

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Ken Rosenthal reported a few minutes ago that seven teams remain in the running to sign Shoehei Ohtani: the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Giants, Rangers and Cubs.

Ohtani and his representatives will meet with these teams in Los Angeles some time this week, after which he’ll make a decision on where to play.

This list, generally speaking, jibes with reports that Ohtani wishes to play on the west coast. The Rangers remain in the running, however, because they have the most bonus money available to give to Ohtani, at around $3.535 million. The inclusion of the Cubs on the list is somewhat surprising, geographically speaking, and because they don’t have a ton of bonus pool money to pay him. They do look to be a stronger on-field contender than all of the clubs on the list with the possible exception of the Dodgers, though, and that cannot be discounted as a factor.

The Winter Meetings begin in a week. It’s quite possible that Ohtani will be introduced by his new team by then.

Al Avila on trading Ian Kinsler: “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged.”

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Tigers GM Al Avila said on Tuesday, via MLB.com’s Jason Beck, that there’s been significant headway made in the quest to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler. He said, “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged. We just can’t agree.”

Kinsler, 35, is in the last year of his contract with the Tigers, earning $10 million for this coming season. In 2017, the veteran batted .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, and 90 runs scored in 613 plate appearances.

It’s not known yet which team (or teams) have gotten far in discussions with the Tigers, but the Angels have been suggested as a good fit given their need for a second baseman.