MLB Rumors: Latest Shohei Ohtani report makes Blue Jays failure even more painful

The Toronto Blue Jays were unable to sign Shohei Ohtani, but they certainly made an enticing offer.

Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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The Toronto Blue Jays were oh so close to sign Shohei Ohtani, or so we thought. A private plane flying from Anaheim to Toronto ended up being for a Shark Tank star (and CAA client) rather than Ohtani. His dog's name had nothing to do with Toronto or Canada. I can go on and on.

Perhaps even more infuriating than the shoddy reporting for Jays fans is that the franchise literally did all they could. Toronto was willing to sign Ohtani to the same deal he eventually inked with the Dodgers, per Alden Gonzalez and Jeff Passan.

The Jays did everything in their power to bring Ohtani north of the border, but the Dodgers presentation and location was tough to beat. Los Angeles told Ohtani that despite their 2020 World Series, they considered their past decade a failure given some early playoff exits. Ohtani, who has never even made the MLB Postseason, viewed that statement as a standard he wasn't used to in Anaheim or elsewhere.

MLB Rumors: Why did the Blue Jays lose out on Shohei Ohtani?

In the end, it was a matter of preference for Ohtani. The Japanese sensation prefers the west coast, as it's closer to home. The Dodgers also provided a more direct path to winning, and have since added former Rays ace Tyler Glasnow to help lead their pitching staff. They remain in on free-agent pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto as well. Essentially, the Dodgers are all in to win now.

Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo, lambasted the reporting of Ohtani's free-agent chase, specifically on those final days. He also feels terrible for the Blue Jays.

I felt really, really bad for the country of Canada.  And I felt really, really bad for the Toronto Blue Jays organization.  They are really good people.  What they had to endure, and the pain, wasn’t right.  I felt so bad for all of them that they had to go through that because it was the extreme emotional roller coaster of thinking that they had him and then finding out they didn’t," Balelo said.

It's tough to blame Ohtani for taking the Dodgers offer. He gets to play on arguably the most talented team in the sport, stay close to home and will be paid handsomely for the next two decades-plus. Sign me up.

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