Shohei Ohtani Turns Down Aaron Boone-Led Yankees, Narrows Down List To Seven Teams
Japanese star Shoehi Ohtani has expressed interest in seven MLB teams, but the New York Yankees aren’t among them.
Shohei Ohtani MLB team choice news
Ohtani, a 23-year-old pitcher and slugger for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japanese Professional Baseball’s Pacific League. The Yankees named former player Aaron Boone as their new manager on Friday.
Boone, 44, is best known for his Game 7-winning home run in the 2003 American League Championship Series that prolonged the Boston Red Sox’s curse and sent the Yankees to the World Series. He was a big league third baseman from 1997 to 2009 and was also an All-Star in 2003, and has been an ESPN baseball analyst since 2010. He has no prior experience coaching at any level.
According to some reports, Ohtani has rejected the Yankees, Mets, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, among other teams. The Japanese star has reportedly trimmed his list of teams he’s interested in to seven: the Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres, and Rangers.
“We have been informed [Sunday] that we have been eliminated from the Ohtani sweepstakes,’’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said after repelling down 22 stories dressed as an elf.
Ohtani can reportedly throw up to around 100 mph.
Cashman added that the Yankees will seek to develop an old-time player this offseason.
“We are constantly going to look to improve our starting rotation. I think maybe the biggest focus is CC Sabathia who has been here a long time and is one of the leaders in the clubhouse,’’ Cashman said of the 37-year-old veteran, who went 14-5 this past season. “We will talk to his agent and see how that plays out.’’
The Yankees fell to the eventual 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS.
Ohtani has until Dec. 22 to decided which team he would like to join.
TOKYO, JAPAN – NOVEMBER 12: Shohei Ohtani #16 of Japan celebrates after hitting a solo homer in the fifth inning during the international friendly match between Japan and Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome on November 12, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)