Cubs chosen to meet with Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani

Oct 12 2017 Houston TX USA View of a New York Yankees hat during workouts at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Several teams said Sunday they were told they had been eliminated, and the seven remaining were confirmed Monday to The Associated Press by a pair of people familiar with the choices. I can't speak for them.

"I can't say that is 100 percent the case, but I got the indication Friday evening that our presentation was fantastic and that it might not be a ideal fit, " Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on Sunday night of a conversation he had with Ohtani's representatives.

Brian Cashman, the Yankees general manager, revealed that Ohtani's representatives informed him that Ohtani, one of the most intriguing players to come out of Japan in more than a decade, will not choose the Yankees.

Reports have surfaced that Otani is likely leaning toward a West Coast team in a smaller market, but with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's reputation as master salesmen, the Cubs are still very much a threat to land Otani, according to reports.

"I started getting a feel that wasn't good a few days ago".

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Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement. The decision won't come down to money, as no team can offer more than $3.5 million to sign him due to Major League Baseball restrictions.

With only three Japanese players now signed to major league contracts (Masahiro Tanaka - Yankees, Kenta Maeda - Dodgers, Junichi Tazawa - Marlins) in addition to four free agents and one minor-league contract (Ichiro Suzuki, Nori Aoki, Yu Darvish, Koji Uhera and Hisashi Iwakuma - Mariners), it will be interesting to see if Ohtani actually steers clear of his fellow compatriots.

Later Sunday, Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski said that Boston is out of the running, as well.

The next step in the process is face-to-face meetings between Ohtani and the finalists.

Shohei Ohtani will not sign with the Mets, much to the surprise of, well, no one really.

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