MLB Rumors: Shohei Ohtani's trip to Toronto has gone from loose theory to confirmed event

Shohei Ohtani is, in fact, flying to Toronto. That doesn't mean the contract is signed, sealed, and delivered.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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UPDATE: MLB Network insider Jon Morosi sent out an apology late Friday night for reporting "inaccurate information that Shohei Ohtani was traveling to Toronto." This comes after Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Jon Heyman of the New York Post both reported that Ohtani was not traveling to Toronto and was actually at home in Southern California.

The original story before the confirmation that Ohtani was not traveling to Toronto can be viewed below:

It would appear all the MLB sickos monitoring a random Friday afternoon private jet flight from Santa Ana to Toronto were on to something...

According to MLB insider Jon Morosi, Shohei Ohtani is on his way to Toronto. The 29-year-old's agency, CAA, would not comment on travel plans and there is no confirmation that Ohtani has selected the Toronto Blue Jays.

That said, it's a serious development. Morosi reported earlier that Ohtani could announce his next team as soon as today, Dec. 8.

Shohei Ohtani on flight to Toronto, presumably to meet with Blue Jays

Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers' front office have to be sweating through their suit jackets right about now. The Dodgers were long pegged as the logical favorites to sign Ohtani, but the Blue Jays — with the financial backing of media conglomerate Rogers Communications — appear to be making a strong push.

Word on the street is that Ohtani's contract could exceed $600 million, smashing Mike Trout's record $426 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. That's the price of greatness. Ohtani won't pitch again until 2025, but he won the American League MVP last season largely on the strength of his bat.

The MLB's only two-way star, Ohtani has become a global sensation, with marketing value that far exceeds his peers. The Blue Jays are uniquely situated as the MLB's only international franchise, which could hold appeal for Ohtani.

All the noise surrounding Ohtani has front offices around the MLB hooked. A sushi restaurant near the Rogers Centre was reportedly booked for a party of "50-plus" tonight. That sounds like a celebration... or, it could be a simple meeting between team and player, with Ohtani still uncommitted. Or it could be completely unrelated.

Until we hear official word, Blue Jays fans would be wise to hedge their bets and practice the art of low expectations. Aaron Judge was basically a San Francisco Giant last season, until he wasn't. Ohtani will have lucrative offers on his plate from both Los Angeles squads and there's a considerable difference between sunny L.A. and Canada on the weather front. Does Ohtani want to live and hit in such a cold environment? It's a valid question.

Of note, Ohtani's documented meeting with Toronto earlier in the week took place in Florida, not Toronto. Perhaps he is simply meeting with front office personnel and coaches and touring the facilities. This could easily end up being a pitch meeting, not a signing.

That said... Toronto is a very real player here. Maybe (definitely?) the favorite.

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