MLB Rumors: Trio of contenders virtually drop out of Shohei Ohtani chase

Three teams thought to be front runners to sign Shohei Ohtani are essentially waving the white flag.

Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is coming into focus with contenders dropping like flies.

Everyone wants Ohtani, but only one team can have him.

According to Jeff Passan, three big hitters have effectively terminated their pursuit of the two-way star. The Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets are out.

Rangers, Red Sox and Mets are out of Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

Here's how Passan put it in his latest report on Ohtani ahead of the MLB Winter Meetings (subscription required):

The Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, who were among the initial group of suitors, have turned their attention to other players, sources said. Among those confirmed by sources to be still in the bidding: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and Angels. The San Francisco Giants have long had a fondness for Ohtani, though where they stand in these sweepstakes is unknown.

So three teams thought to have the spending power to pursue Ohtani have apparently given up the fight.

You can read into that that Ohtani wasn't interested or that those teams weren't willing to get into a bidding war with the likes of the Dodgers, Cubs, Blue Jays or Angels. Either way, they're out.

The Rangers are coming off a World Series victory but they were still seen as an intriguing landing spot for Ohtani if he wanted to win championships. As for the Red Sox and Mets, both are franchises that need to convince their fans they're serious about winning. Moving on from Ohtani will be severely disappointing for those fanbases, especially with a handful of teams reportedly still willing to keep the bidding going.

But again, only one team can get Ohtani in their uniform. Teams were always going to have to drop out eventually. The Rangers, Red Sox and Mets will have their chance to find other players to make up for it.

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