The courtship of Shohei Ohtani has turned into a round of speed dating with six teams interviewing with the Japanese phenom and his representation over the past two days in Los Angeles. The Giants, Dodgers and Angels had face-to-face meetings Monday, with the Mariners, Cubs and Rangers getting their turn on Tuesday. It is assumed Ohtani will meet with the Padres on Wednesday.
Very few details have come out about these meetings as most clubs are playing this close to the vest, most likely at the request of Ohtani himself. General managers, members of ownership, managers, Pacific Rim scouts and members of training and development staffs have been included in the contingents that have been reported on. Buster Posey of the Giants is the only known player to have attended his team’s meeting.
Ohtani, who was posted Dec. 1, is facing a Dec. 22 deadline to make a decision on which team he will sign with. With first cuts on Sunday night and first interviews expected to be completed by end-of-day Wednesday, the process is moving quickly. The assumption has been that Ohtani would narrow the field of seven to a couple of finalists and make visits to those cities shortly after. With the pace we have seen in the process so far, I’m not sure it’s out of the question that this isn’t wrapped up before the Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday in Orlando.