Shohei Ohtani just isn’t anticipated to select his subsequent crew in free company this week, however followers and analysts are poring over the clues in an try to establish the two-way famous person’s vacation spot.
One crew lurking within the shadows for Ohtani is the Toronto Blue Jays, a championship-starved membership within the tough-as-nails AL East. Few clues have emerged as to which course Ohtani is leaning, however the first day of MLB‘s annual winter conferences could have supplied hints that the two-time AL MVP is giving Toronto a critical look.
Shohei’s free company shrouded in secrecy
In response to Sports activities Illustrated, hypothesis that Ohtani might be certain for Ontario has ramped up after:
- Blue Jays basic supervisor Ross Atkins switched his in-person media availability to Zoom, and he didn’t inform reporters the place he was
- Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo, just isn’t in Nashville for the Winter Conferences
- Blue Jays supervisor John Schneider had his media availability moved from Monday to Tuesday
The schedule alterations might be purely coincidental, after all. However they is also indicative of a crew attempting to courtroom Ohtani on his phrases — as quietly and as privately as attainable, per his request.
The case for Toronto
In any case, the Blue Jays are nonetheless considered a robust contender to land Ohtani. Toronto opened the 2023 season with one of many ten highest payrolls in baseball and have cultivated an identification as a crew on the rise — however a crew lacking one important piece on the plate or on the mound.
Ohtani, who cannot pitch in 2024 after present process elbow surgical procedure, will slot properly right into a lineup that at the moment consists of All-Stars Bo Bichette, George Springer, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The Jays have made the postseason thrice prior to now 4 seasons, however they haven’t received a postseason recreation since 2016. Ohtani’s arrival may see that drought finish, and additional steps taken to win Toronto’s first World Collection since 1993.