Shohei Ohtani was only just posted on Friday, and even though he technically has 21 days to negotiate with teams and come to an agreement, he’s been flying through that process at a faster rate than we expected.
By the end of the weekend, Ohtani was down to seven finalists with the Padres, Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, and Giants. Even though he narrowed it down from the “extensive questionnaire” stage to the Finalists Enter the Thunderdome stage so quickly, nobody foresaw him sprinting through those as fast as he did.
But as Jeff Passan reports, Ohtani is already done with his meetings and now we all get to wait for the Final Rose to be handed out.
Sources: Shohei Ohtani is done interviewing the seven finalists to sign him. His last meeting was actually Tuesday night with the San Diego Padres. Next, presumably, will be his decision. Timetable is not clear yet, but it could well be soon.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 6, 2017
So, that was really fast. And there still seems to be no real signal as to which team he’ll opt to sign with, even if Padres fans are starting to get all worked up about their chances and excited about having him on their team.
Various teams are putting details about their strengths out there outside of the meetings too, like the Rangers declaring they will be going with six starters in 2018 — an ideal situation for, say, a pitcher that needs extra rest because he will also be batting.
But we still don’t know where he’s going to go. So we wait, and we wait, and we try to parse Japanese newspapers and possibly-true-but-probably-not rumors, and we see if he makes any public comments leading us to one conclusion or another, and we wait some more.
One thing seems likely -- the Ohtani lottery is going to have a winner way earlier than we anticipated.