Shohei Ohtani meets with Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers on Tuesday


Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani met with the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday and was meeting with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday evening, according to multiple reports.

Ohtani, the 23-year-old Japanese right-hander with a 100 mph fastball and devastating left-handed swing, met with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels and the San Francisco Giants on Monday, according to reports.

The San Diego Padres are also expected to meet with Ohtani.

The window for Ohtani to negotiate with big league clubs will expire at 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 22.

The Mariners met with Ohtani and his representatives on Tuesday morning at the offices of the Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, the Seattle Times reported. While the makeup of their contingent was not clear, general manager Jerry Dipoto, director of scouting Tom Allison, Pacific Rim liaison assistant Antony Suzuki and Japan-based scout Manny Noto all traveled to Japan and watched Ohtani play for multiple games in September.

Tuesday evening, a Rangers contingent including co-owner Ray Davis, general manager Jon Daniels and manager Jeff Banister met with Ohtani, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Others in the Rangers’ contingent included Japanese scouts Joe Furukawa and Hajime Watabe.

Teams interested in signing Ohtani are limited to the amount they have available in their international bonus pools. The Rangers have the biggest available allotment at $3.535 million. On Monday afternoon, the Giants were the first to sit down with the two-way star. They sent most of the front office as well as manager Bruce Bochy and asked Buster Posey to help with the recruiting, CSN Bay Area reported.

Ohtani is 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in five seasons as a pitcher with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball. He has a .286/.358/.500 slash line with 48 homers and 166 RBIs over 403 games during that span.

Ohtani would have likely signed a deal in excess of nine figures if he had waited until his 25th birthday, when he could have become an unencumbered free agent. But he has consistently expressed a desire to test himself against top competition regardless of the financial ramifications.

The Ham Fighters posted Ohtani, with a release fee of $20 million.

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