But we also now know that distance from Japan seemingly played a role in Ohtani's pairing down of cities as well. I can't speak for them.
But they apparently couldn't over the geography as Ohtani and his CAA reps appear to be focused on west coast markets as they also eliminated the Yankees, who many had considered the favorites, along with the Red Sox and Mets.
On Sunday, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman informed reporters that Ohtani's representatives told the team they will not be invited to make a presentation for the starter/slugger.
Ohtani was posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters on Friday.
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. By leaving Japan at 23, Ohtani can only sign a standard major-league rookie contract, and his signing bonus cannot exceed $3.535 million.
When it comes to Major League Baseball free agents, it's hard to find someone as intriguing as two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani.
The Cubs, Dodgers and Giants are restricted to $300,000 maximums in the signing period through June 15 as penalties for exceeding their bonus pools in 2015-16 and the Padres are limited to $300,000 for going over in 2016-17.
Among the teams meeting with Ohtani are the Rangers, who have the most worldwide money to offer ($3.54 million) and the Giants, who have $1.84 million available. Those seven teams have been invited to meet with Ohtani and his representatives starting this week, with Ohtani's final decision due by December 21.