With the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes recently picking up some serious steam, a source close to the situation has now informed FanRag Sports that the Japanese phenom has narrowed down his list of potential suitors to seven teams. Ohtani is still considering the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.
Originally, many felt that the Ohtani sweepstakes would come down to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but both teams were spurned by the 23-year-old early on in the process. It seems as though Ohtani has an affinity for the West Coast, as five of the seven ball clubs on his list hail such a region.
The 6-3, 190-pounder spent five seasons with Japan’s Nippon-Ham Fighters while most recently starting five games and pitching to the tune of a 3.20 ERA in 2017. In addition, he registered a slash line of .332/.403/.540 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs over 231 plate appearances. He began his professional career back in 2013, when he appeared in 13 games and made 11 starts. That year, he went 3-0 with a 4.23 ERA, allowing 57 hits while striking out 46 opposing batters across 61.2 innings of work. Ohtani then had his breakout season in 2014, going 11-4 with a 2.61 ERA through 24 starts and surrendering 125 hits and just seven home runs while fanning 179 hitters over 155.1 frames of action.
He followed that up with an even stronger 2015 campaign, posting a 15-5 mark and a 2.24 ERA. In addition, he accumulated 196 punchouts in 160.2 innings. The up-and-comer continued to improve in 2016, logging a minuscule 1.86 ERA while managing 11.2 strikeouts per nine inning. He also slashed .322/.416/.588 while connecting with 22 long balls and driving in 67 runs at the dish.