So, Bob Nightengale has fans going crazy on Tuesday, first reporting that the Chicago Cubs are out of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. Cubs president Jed Hoyer responded directly to that speculation and shut it down, as he made his first public appearance at the Winter Meetings.
Hoyer said the Cubs have not been told their out on Ohtani from the player’s camp.
Hoyer did not go into any further details regarding the team’s pursuit of Ohtani.
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This followed Craig Counsell’s comments from earlier on Tuesday, when he was asked about any Ohtani meetings. Counsell said he had not met with Ohtani in person and also would not comment on the team’s pursuit of the 2023 AL MVP.
Meanwhile, before Hoyer spoke to the media, New York Post reporter Jon Heyman passed along the same message.
The Cubs are not out of the Ohtani sweepstakes. At least, no one from the player’s side has told them if they are or not.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have long been the favorites to sign Ohtani, let it slip that they have had a meeting with Ohtani. Their manager, Dave Roberts, talked openly about it on Tuesday.
Well, LA’s GM didn’t seem happy about how upfront Roberts was in the media.
Elsewhere, there have been leaks about the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays meeting with Ohtani.
Why are these public admissions so important? Well, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Ohtani warned teams about keeping their pursuits private.
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. 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.
Hoyer, Counsell, the Cubs have remained tight-lipped this week when it comes to Ohtani.
Man, what a day. Rumors left and right, and well, who actually knows anything? Best to simply take in all these rumors and have fun with them until Ohtani finally makes his decision.