Red Sox out of Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

Ohtani rumors start to swirl as MLB approves Japan deal

The Yankees had been considered the favorite to sign Ohtani for weeks now because they have as much global bonus money available as any team ($3.5M), also because they have a great young roster loaded with talent.

Apparently, Ohtani is telling teams he prefers to play for a smaller-market team, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is saying that Ohtani wants to play on the West Coast, too, which lines up with another report saying the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners are among the finalists to sign Ohtani.

Ohtani was in Los Angeles, a person familiar with his location said.

Major League Baseball just announced that its clubs have ratified the new posting agreement which will govern player transfers between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) beginning November 1, 2018. Last season with the Nippon Ham Fighters, he was limited to just five starts with a 3-2 record with a 3.20 ERA. Teams interested in signing him will only be limited to amount of money in their worldwide bonus pools.

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UPDATE (6:28 p.m. ET): The Boston Red Sox also are out of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes.

Cashman said the Yankees were willing to let Ohtani pitch as a starter and hit on the days he is not starting.

Ohtani, 23, is a two-way player who can serve as a pitcher and outfield. In 65 games at the plate, he hit.332/.403/.540 with eight home runs, 31 RBI and 16 doubles.

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