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NY Post
New York Post
18 Nov 2023


NextImg:Mariners may already be out of the running for Shohei Ohtani

The Mariners may already be out of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes.

MLB.com’s Daniel Kramer reported this week that “industry sources” said Ohtani isn’t in Seattle’s “realistic agenda” this winter.

Kramer cites the Dodgers as the frontrunners to land the two-way Japanese superstar, followed by the Mets, Giants, Rangers Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees, who are all in the mix for Ohtani’s services, per his reporting.

The Mariners had previously been believed to be a top candidate to sign Ohtani this offseason thanks to the team’s long-time connections to Japanese players and West Coast location.

Ohtani, who took home his second American League MVP award this week, is set to sign one of the biggest contracts in MLB, if not professional sports, history this offseason.

The Post’s Jon Heyman wrote in October that he heard speculation about a contract as high as $600 million for the 29-year-old.

The prized free agent, once again, put up Babe Ruth-esque numbers in 2023, leading the AL with 44 homers while .304 with 96 RBIs and going 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts on the mound, although he won’t pitch until 2025 after undergoing right elbow surgery in September.

Shohei Ohtani is among the most coveted free agents in MLB history.
Getty Images

It’s unlikely baseball fans will hear much about the race for Ohtani before he makes his big decision.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported this week that teams pursuing Ohtani have been informed that leaks around free agent meetings will hurt their chances of signing him.

“If visits between Ohtani and a team are reported publicly, it will be held against the team, so the circles will be tiny and tight,” Passan wrote. “… If there is one thing to know about Shohei Ohtani’s free agency, it’s that you are unlikely to know much about it until he signs somewhere.”