Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani has narrowed his list of potential landing spots to seven, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
The finalists are the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ohtani’s 21-day negotiating window expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 22 after the Nippon Ham Fighters officially posted him. The expectation is Ohtani, who is coveted for his two-way potential as a top pitcher and big bat, prefers a small market or West Coast team.
Ohtani, 23, is subject to international signing cap rules, limiting the amount a team can pay in his initial contract. The Rangers ($3,535,000) can offer him the most of any of the finalists.
Hampered by leg injuries — ankle, quadriceps — last season, Ohtani hit .332/.403/.540 with eight home runs in 231 plate appearances and threw 25 1/3 innings with a 3.20 ERA and 29 strikeouts.