Race for Rangers target Shohei Ohtani narrows: The Yankees are out


The Yankees were perceived to be the favorite by many because they had the second-most amount of worldwide signing bonus money ($3.35M), the diversity of NY, the successful recent history with Japanese players, like Hideki Matsui and Masahiro Tanaka, and a chance to win immediately.

But the 23-year-old star reportedly isn't interested in being a member of the Bronx Bombers, as MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reported Sunday that Ohtani has informed the Yankees he will not be signing with them.

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According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, the Giants and Mariners are among the finalists. The Minnesota Twins have also dropped out, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports.

Ohtani's Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, posted the two-way star on Friday, and he has until December 22 to sign with a Major League team. Teams interested in signing him will only be limited to amount of money in their worldwide bonus pools. The only perceived drawback from the Yankees' bid was that Ohtani is from a small town, which might have scared him off from NY. The Yankees had about $3.5 million in money, which is the second-most behind what the Texas Rangers could offer.

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Cashman said the news was "disappointing" that Ohtani prefers a smaller market on the West Coast. Ohtani posted a 42-15 record with a 2.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in five years as a pitcher.

But he also wants to play either the outfield or be a designated hitter.

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