Ohtani’s Cost Too Much for Cubs?
What the hell happened in the past couple of weeks? The Cubs went from being a serious contender to sign Shohei Ohtani, reported by both local and national outlets, and now Bob Nightengale is reporting that they thought Ohtani’s cost is too high?
Everyone with a functioning brain knew that Ohtani was going to shatter the record for largest contract in MLB history, which meant going above $500 million. Given that, the Cubs have been placed as one of the teams still in on the bidding as recent as last Friday, when ESPN’s Jeff Passan listed them remaining in on the superstar heading into the Winter Meetings.
Now, it turns out the Cubs didn’t want to commit to the huge money for Ohtani?
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Via USA Today.
The Chicago Cubs, however, have balked at Ohtani’s price tag of 10 years and at least $500 million, one high-ranking official told USA TODAY Sports and appear to now be out of the bidding.
Again, it’s Bob Nightengale and he has a shaky track record with rumors, but if true, then this was all a big waste of time. The Cubs were never actually and should not have ever been talked about a serious contender for Ohtani.
Earlier on Tuesday, Cubs manager Craig Counsell was asked if he had spoken to Ohtani in person during the player’s free agency process. He said no, but wouldn’t indicate if that meant other Cubs
Let’s hope the Nightengale report is only speculation and it turns out to not be true. Otherwise, what a huge disappointment from the Cubs. It makes no sense for all the smoke being around the Cubs and Ohtani and then they suddenly decided his asking price was too much? Again, we all knew it was going to be this high!
Well, we now have national reporters and a local Cubs insider pretty much telling fans that it’s over. The chances of the Chicago Cubs signing Shohei Ohtani may be done. At least that’s the feeling a few days into the Winter Meetings.
There was some optimism heading into the weekend, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan named the Cubs as one of four teams clearly in on the Ohtani bidding. However, since Monday night, the reports surrounding the Ohtani sweepstakes haven’t been positive about the Cubs.
To begin with, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand listed the teams his sources still had in on Ohtani. Most noticeably, the Cubs were not included.
The industry consensus all offseason has been that Ohtani will wind up moving 30 miles up I-5 to Dodger Stadium, but sources say that two other teams — the Blue Jays and Angels — remain firmly in play.
Then, there was the news that Ohtani reportedly met with Blue Jays officials at the team’s spring training facility in Florida on Monday. If true, that definitely points to at least mutual interest from both sides.
On Tuesday, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Cubs were no longer feeling good about their chances on Ohtani. We’ve joked about Nightengale’s credibility, but he obviously has sources.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jesse Rogers was on ESPN 1000 in Chicago and he pretty much relayed the same message. From the people he’s talked with at the Winter Meetings, the feelings have shifted to the Cubs knowing they’re not going to sign Ohtani.
Rogers said he’s heard this from lower-level executives and that the only reason he hasn’t written an official report about the Cubs being out on Ohtani is because he hasn’t received confirmation from a higher-up. Yet, the whispers are beginning to mount and well the Ohtani to Cubs dream might just be over.
Through all the Ohtani reports, rumors, feelings, only one thing has remained consistent, the Dodgers began as the favorites, and remain the favorites. Rogers reaffirmed that line of thinking, saying he thinks Ohtani will end up signing with the Dodgers.
As for how Jed Hoyer and the front office pivots from here, there are already several reports linking them to free agent first baseman Rhys Hoskins. They have also been in trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays for Tyler Glasnow and have been recently connected to free agent third baseman Matt Chapman.
The Cubs have also been named as one of several teams to be serious suitors for Japanese starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The 25-year-old righty would be a grand prize for the Cubs this offseason, but adding a legit, proven bat is still high on the priority list.
Missing out on Ohtani doesn’t mean a complete failure for the Cubs, but it makes a successful offseason more difficult to achieve. The only other option that would excite the fan base would be to make an aggressive trade for Juan Soto.
We’ll see what unfolds in the following weeks for the Cubs.
Cubs are still in?!?!!?
Well, this goes back to what we’ve been seeing the past month. No one actually knows what’s happening with Shohei Ohtani.
Here’s the clip and honestly it doesn’t give me much confidence about the Cubs actually being in on Ohtani.