Braves GM gets brutally honest about Shohei Ohtani offseason chase

When it comes to all of the rumors surrounding Shohei Ohtani and a potential fit for the Atlanta Braves, Alex Anthopoulos set the record straight at the MLB Winter Meetings

Atlanta Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos
Atlanta Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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NASHVILLE — There have been plenty of rumors connecting Shohei Ohtani and the Atlanta Braves this offseason. However, on Tuesday afternoon in the middle of a media scrum, Alex Anthopoulos, Atlanta's president of baseball operations and general manager, set the record straight.

Atlanta Braves rumors: Shohei Ohtani pursuit was never a reality

When asked about Ohtani as the last question of his media availability inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Anthopoulos used the moment to obliterate any kind of connection between the Japanese superstar and the Braves.

"We are very happy with our position player group," Anthopoulos said. "We had a very good offense last year. We've only pursued one position player this offseason and that was Jarred Kelenic that we were going to get a deal done. And we have not explored any other position players in any capacity at any time."

You can see the quote from Anthopoulos below. Notice the way he emphasizes the last part of the quote as well. He's make "at any time" very clear, hinting that, as has been reported, there never was a serious chase for Ohtani in Atlanta.

That last line certainly seems about as cut and dried as you can get when it comes to Ohtani and a potential fit in Atlanta. However, there are still plenty of online comments pointing out that Ohtani is not a position player, but rather will serve as the designated hitter for whatever team wins the sweepstakes to sign him.

Split hairs however you will, but the Tuesday quote should put to rest any rumored connection between Ohtani and the defending National League East champions. That leaves teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays (both of whom have reportedly already met with Ohtani) with one less competitor.

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