[UPDATE: *everyyyyyyybody huuuuuurts … Ohtani is signing with the Angels. Original post follows.]
Earlier today, Buster Olney (ESPN) jumped on ESPN radio to discuss, among many things, Giancarlo Stanton’s market, and, of course, the latest on Shohei Ohtani, with Jesse Rogers and Ben Finfer.
And to my pleasant surprise, he included this really promising nugget (starts around the 6:00 min mark):
“I’m not gonna pretend that I know what team he’s going to pick, but I will tell you that there are folks in the game who, in conversations with the Cubs, they think the Cubs are feeling really good about their chances.
The Cubs feel like they made a really great presentation … They feel really good about that.”
All right, now.
Olney certainly hedged his bet quite a bit (and who knows what “folks in the game” means or how tapped in they are), but it’s hard not to take that very positively. Olney is a good baseball reporter and I doubt he’d go on the radio to make such a claim, in such a way, without having heard something very similar behind the scenes.
And to be clear, this would be less compelling if the report was just that the Cubs felt good about their presentation, because, well, of course they did. I doubt they’d ever say anything otherwise, even to a reporter in private. Instead, the fact that they feel really good about “their chances,” is what sticks out to me.
You’ll have to take this with a grain of salt, because, frankly, only Ohtani knows where he wants to go, and several teams probably feel “really good” about their chances.
But for now, it’s hard not to like where the Cubs are sitting. They are at the table with teams that have many more advantages. They should feel good, even if for no other reason than they have a real shot.