MLB rumors: Braves on verge of trade for hometowner, Ohtani FA timeline, Dodgers hire Cruz, more

  • The Dodgers have hired Nelson Cruz
  • When Ohtani plans to make his decision on his next team
  • The Braves could finally land their starting pitcher before the winter meetings

Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Shohei Ohtani's likely free agency timeline revealed

Good luck predicting anything related to Shohei Ohtani's free agency with certainty. The two-way All-Star is notoriously anti-limelight and seems to want to keep everything related to his upcoming decision on who he'll play for for the foreseeable future under wraps.

Though this isn't confirmed, plenty have speculated that leaks from teams engaged in possibly signing Ohtani would hurt their chances of getting him because of his desire for privacy.

That said, we do have a little information from Jon Heyman, who said that he thinks Ohtani's free agency will be wrapped up before Winter Meetings end on Dec. 6.

"At this moment, I'm thinking he may sign at the Winter Meetings, which would be very, very exciting. That seems to be the prevailing opinion at this point. No guarantee."

Every step of the way, any information that leaks out always comes with that caveat: "No guarantee." Translation: No one knows much of anything with the star pitcher.

It makes sense, though, that the biggest free agent of the winter would sign at the Winter Meetings. Most big deals get done right around that time, and this year, his lingering free agency could put several other things on hold. Given that he'll be on the books for upwards of half a billion dollars on this next contract, it's hard for interested executives to know what their budget looks like until they've officially landed him or not.

With the meetings starting Sunday, expect more information to start coming out late this weekend.