Report: Angels still alive in push to re-sign Ohtani
Don't count the incumbent Los Angeles Angels out of the Shohei Ohtani race just yet.
The Angels, Ohtani's team for the past six seasons, are still in the race to sign the two-way superstar, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
Ohtani has tried to keep the details of his free-agency process quiet and, while the Angels clearly would like to re-sign him, little is known about their pursuit thus far. The team declined to reveal whether they've met with Ohtani or his agent this winter, according to Bollinger.
Familiarity would presumably be the Angels' biggest selling point. Ohtani's spent his entire big-league career with the team, winning AL Rookie of the Year in 2018 before morphing into a global superstar and winning two unanimous AL MVP awards over the last three seasons. However, the team hasn't posted a winning record since his signing.
After undergoing elbow surgery in September, Ohtani will only hit in 2024. If he feels comfortable rehabbing with their doctors, that could also work in the Angels' favor.
Ohtani is reportedly expected to choose his next team before the end of the weekend. The Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers are thought to be among the finalists for his services, but he's also been linked to the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed his team met with Ohtani last week in Los Angeles, saying that the meeting "went well." The free agent dual-threat is also believed to have visited the Blue Jays' spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, this past Monday.
Ohtani's next deal will likely be the richest in baseball history, and could be worth between $500 million and $600 million.