NEW YORK (KMOX/AP) – The Yankees and Red Sox are among the teams that pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani has ruled out, and it seems the Japanese star will likely pursue a smaller market nearer to the West Coast. One of those teams are also in the bidding for Miami Marlins slugger, Giancarlo Stanton.Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports, the San Francisco Giants are a finalist for the two-way Japanese star.
What does that mean for the St. Louis Cardinals? They never were contenders for Ohtani. St. Louis was only able to offer him a $300,000 signing bonus, as the new CBA limits team’s spending on international talent.
But if the Giants sign him, does that mean they drop out of the race for Stanton? Possibly, but doesn’t guarantee it. The Giants are already expected to have the second highest payroll in baseball in 2018 and Stanton’s contract would add another $25 million – he’ll be the 12th highest paid player next year. But Ohtani will be coming at a potential bargain any team signing him.
The CBA also limits how much a team can pay an international free agent that fits certain age restrictions. For any team that signs him to a major league contact, he would have a salary for about the minimum $545,000 next season and not be eligible for salary arbitration until 2020 at the earliest.
Ohtani has handcuffed himself, because if he waited until he was 25, then he could get a deal with no pay restrictions, for more than $100 million. The idea of teams offering him a secret long-term contract that won’t be announced until years later would be a huge risk, as MLB is promising severe penalties if that happens.
New York general manager Brian Cashman confirmed to reporters Sunday night that his club was out of the running.
“I know that our presentation was excellent,” Cashman said. “The feedback from that was outstanding. But I did get a sense that I can’t change that we’re a big market and I can’t change we’re in the East.”
Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg confirmed Boston’s elimination from the bidding. The New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers are also among the teams told they won’t sign Ohtani.
Ohtani was put up for bid Friday by the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. The 23-year-old has until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 22 to agree to a contract with an MLB team.
Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement. The largest deal he could sign is with the Texas Rangers for $3,535,000, followed by the Yankees ($3.5 million), Minnesota ($3.07 million), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1,557,500), Miami ($1.49 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($1,315,000).
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)