Recapping Shohei Ohtani’s eventful week in free agency

Shohei Ohtani’s wild week of free agency, summarized

Shohei Ohtani has been driving everyone crazy with his free agency decision, and we have been left to look for clues about his free-agent decision through social media, reading tea leaves, turning over tarot cards, gazing into crystal balls, consulting magic eight balls, and flight-tracking.

It was a relatively tranquil time on the Ohtani scene. There was speculation that he might sign within the week and a report that he had already received bids north of half a billion dollars. However, the biggest controversy surrounding Ohtani was his agency’s unwillingness to reveal basic details about his dog.

At the Winter Meetings, Blue Jays reporters received word that Toronto general manager Ross Atkins’ scheduled, in-person media availability would instead take place over Zoom. Atkins concealed any specific details from being revealed about Ohtani, adhering to the operating principles reportedly established by the Ohtani camp.

Subsequent flight-tracking by Internet sleuths found two private jets that departed Clearwater, Fla., one bound for Anaheim, the other bound for Nashville. Reports indicated that Atkins was with Ohtani at the Blue Jays’ state-of-the-art Spring Training facility in Dunedin, Fla.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that the Dodgers had met with Ohtani at Dodger Stadium a few days earlier, demonstrating their strong interest in him. Meanwhile, Cubs president Jed Hoyer looked not especially thrilled with a report that his club’s optimism regarding Ohtani had “significantly waned.”

Ohtani was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft, and he was not involved in the Juan Soto trade. Many anticipated his decision on the sixth anniversary of his original agreement with the Angels but there was still no official announcement. A plane departing John Wayne Airport in California, bound for Toronto inspired everyone to believe an Ohtani announcement was imminent.

When Flight N616RH finally touched down in Toronto, it wasn’t Ohtani who stepped out, but reportedly Canadian businessman Robert Herjavec, founder of an Internet security software company, and television personality on multiple programs. As per reports, Ohtani has not yet made a decision. The reports left everyone clamoring for more information, but it seems that we have been left with more questions than answers about Ohtani’s free agency.

No matter where he signs, no matter when he signs, and no matter what his new contract entails, Shohei Ohtani will have already succeeded in driving all of us bananas. We, the baseball-loving community, are eagerly waiting for his decision.


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