In addition to Jeff Passan this morning listing the likely final teams on Shohei Ohtani as the Cubs, Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Angels – with the Giants an unknown – you can add two more who seem to be hearing things similarly.
First, Jesse Rogers suggested those were the same final four teams on ESPN 1000 this morning the Kap & J. Hood show, and Ben Nicholson-Smith has now written it for SportsNet out of Toronto. Nicholson-Smith’s version is a slight variation on a theme, though, with the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Cubs definitely in, and the Angels and Giants not yet ruled out.
So those seem to be the five teams still in the mix, with maybe a slllllight ordering of Dodgers as the favorites, Blue Jays and Cubs at the next level, and then the Angels and Giants as longer shots.
Additionally and importantly, Nicholson-Smith’s writeup indicates via sources that additional meetings with the remaining suitors could take place in Los Angeles this weekend.
It’s fair to wonder, then, if this is it. As in, the final decision is coming this weekend, in advance of the Winter Meetings. That would certainly be ideal for the teams involved, as they could then quickly pivot to the rest of the offseason before the opportunities at the Winter Meetings pass them by.
Of course, you might see teams pivoting in advance of that, if they already have a sense they could be out or if they want to get the jump on other Ohtani losers. And of course (part two), you might see top free agents still wanting to wait out the Ohtani decision, as they would want every possible suitor involved.
In other words, things could happen very fast between this weekend and the early part of next week, or you we could see a significant freeze linger until the ink is dry on Shohei Ohtani’s $500+ million contract.
Speaking of how things can happen quickly and together …
I will continue to think of the Shohei Ohtani pursuit and the Tyler Glasnow trade talks as VERY LOOSELY related for the Cubs. No, I don’t think there’s an explicit marriage there, and yes, I think the Cubs would want Glasnow regardless. But I also think that *if the Cubs believed they had a good shot at Ohtani,* they might push a little extra hard to get Glasnow done because of the perfect complementary fit there between the two players in 2024.
So if you want a positive canary in the coal mine, root for the Cubs to pull of a Glasnow deal soon, and if the trade return is actually MORE than you were thinking it would be, hey, maybe that means the Cubs were feeling a touch better about Ohtani and wanted to make sure they had Glasnow done and in place so the Rays couldn’t squeeze them even further. (This is the kind of mental gymnastics you do during an unprecedented free agency …. )