It’s still possible that, after his seven teams’ worth of meetings earlier this week, Shohei Ohtani will cut things down in the coming days, but it’s also possible he’s just gonna show up at the Winter Meetings next week having made a decision:
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 7, 2017
You know, because the Winter Meetings is always sorely lacking for drama.
Jeff Passan was also thinking that it would be a little while before the next step in the process:
I'd imagine Ohtani is taking some time to process the last two days. He's a 23-year-old who sat through 14 hours of meetings in an unfamiliar language with group after group of impressive men and women trying to convince him to entrust in them the next six years of his life.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 6, 2017
We’ll see if it’s just radio silence until then – it’s been remarkably quiet, in my view, which tells you how seriously the teams are taking things – or if we get any trickles of updates about how Ohtani is leaning.
In the meantime, Ken Rosenthal writes that some teams do think Ohtani kinda already knows which way he’s going, and maybe even knew before he entertained meetings with those seven teams, including the Cubs. It sounds like some frustration is bubbling up behind the scenes (though that was probably always going to be the case, given Ohtani’s unique talent and value, and the nature of the process). I don’t want to give up too much, since that’s a premium article at The Athletic, but it’s worth a read.
It makes you wonder how much we might find out after this is all over, and just how much of a shot each team really had.
The seven finalists are certainly behaving like they believe they have a serious shot, and, as I discussed this morning, that seems like it’s what last night’s IFA bonus pool trades were all about.
For the Cubs, sure, you could argue that they moved to finalize a healthy contract with Tyler Chatwood today because they’re getting a sense than they won’t land Ohtani. But they need multiple starting pitchers in any case, and you could just as easily argue that they are simply looking to jump the market before it shakes out *after* Ohtani makes his final choice (be it the Cubs or otherwise). Now the Cubs can head to the Winter Meetings secure and comfortable that, at an absolute minimum, they’ll have added an intriguing starting pitcher this offseason.
And until those meetings start, I’ll personally be hoping that the Cubs front office gets even more time to talk to Ohtani and his reps before they make a decision.