Jul 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers
(New York, NY) – It appears the long, unending wait is over for baseball fans: Shohei Ohtani has made his decision (we think).
The one-in-a-generation pitcher-slugger has reportedly chosen the Toronto Blue Jays as his home for the foreseeable future, following one of the most highly-publicized free agency pursuits in MLB history.
Many refer to the Ohtani to Toronto news as “unconfirmed,” while others say the news is more-or-less “unofficial,” ahead of a potential formal announcement that could come as soon as Friday night.
Earlier this week, The Athletic had reported Blue Jays officials met with Ohtani at the team’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida. Ohtani’s camp had also vowed that any leaks or published reports concerning visits and free agency meetings would impact where he might sign. That said, The Athletic report made no impact, if Ohtani does end up signing with Toronto.
But it’s possible the same can’t be said for the LA Dodgers, given it was widely presumed in recent years that Ohtani would eventually sign there.
This week, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts openly discussed the team’s pursuit of Ohtani and meetings they’d had with him. It’s certainly within the realm of possibility that Roberts’ opening his mouth in such an irresponsible fashion impacted where Ohtani ended up. Dodgers fans will likely be furious either way, so maybe Roberts ends up being the scapegoat.
And when Ohtani does finally ink a contract – and if it’s in Canadian dollars – maybe we start calling Shohei the “Say Eh!?” Kid.