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.