Obsessive Shohei Ohtani Watch: Cubs Didn’t Hear No Bell?

Formally and officially, the Chicago Cubs aren’t “out” yet on Shohei Ohtani. Cubs President Jed Hoyer explicitly indicated as much after a report surfaced to the contrary. We may not have a great feeling about the Cubs’ chances all things considered, but Hoyer was clear: the Cubs haven’t heard that they’re no longer under consideration by Ohtani’s camp.

OK, but even if the Cubs aren’t technically out, are they actually still really all that “in”?

Just like everything else in that process, I don’t know that we’re going to get a crystal clear and definitive description of where things stand with every suitor – Dodgers, Blue Jays, Angels, Giants(?) being the others? – so you have to take it all with a grain of salt.

Still, I thought you’d want to know that a couple national reporters today are including the Cubs among the Ohtani finalists.

At MLB.com, Mark Feinsand today described the Cubs as “still among the teams in play for Ohtani,” together with the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Angels. You may recall that Feinsand had previously excluded the Cubs from lists like that. Maybe the first was just an oversight or the latter was just covering-the-bases after Hoyer’s comments. So don’t take too much away from it.

Jon Heyman, who hasn’t yet explicitly taken the Cubs out of the running, also today lists the Cubs, Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Angels as the four “known players” for Ohtani.

It’s curious that both Feinsand and Heyman have removed the Giants, but still have the Cubs in the mix. The Giants’ involvement has been unclear for a while, but there were reports of a visit just before the Winter Meetings. Why would the Giants not be as still “in” as the Cubs?

So who really knows. That remains the message in all of this: maybe there are reasons to be concerned about the Cubs’ chances of actually landing Ohtani, but until they hear they’re out, the Cubs didn’t hear no bell, so to speak. No one REALLY knows anything outside of the people directly involved. The Cubs may be exploring other moves at this point, but for all we know, maybe that truly is just them being proactive while they wait on an Ohtani decision, rather than them believe it’s definitely not going their way.

My advice to you, fan to fan, is to not get your hopes too far up. But … I’m not sure this is impossible. Yet.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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