Blue Jays have Shohei Ohtani meeting in MLB free-agency twist


The Blue Jays are apparently more serious contenders for Shohei Ohtani than originally thought.

The Athletic reported that Blue Jays officials met with the Japanese superstar Monday night at the team’s spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla. — far from where the brunt of the baseball world is situated in Nashville for the Winter Meetings.

The report states that it is believed Ohtani has met with more than one team, with the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Angels also in the mix.

It is the most significant piece of news to come out of the sweepstakes for the 29-year-old, with talks around him “shrouded in secrecy.”

Ohtani’s agents reportedly warned prospective teams earlier this offseason that any leaks would be held against them.

However, the Blue Jays’ meeting shows they’re a legit contender in this race.

Shohei Ohtani reportedly met with the Blue Jays.
Shohei Ohtani reportedly met with the Blue Jays. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“Assuming (the report is) right, the Jays should be presumed to be not a long shot but a serious player for Ohtani,” The Post’s Jon Heyman wrote on X.

Suspicions grew that something was afoot with the Blue Jays after GM Ross Atkins held his media availability over Zoom and manager John Schneider’s planned meeting with the press was pushed from Monday to Tuesday.

“Due to scheduling conflicts, I was able to be on this call, which I am grateful for your adjustment to be here with me today,” Atkins said, according to The Athletic.

“I wanted to make sure that I was with you and Zoom permitted that to happen.”

The Blue Jays are also believed to be in the mix for Juan Soto, with the Padres likely to trade the superstar outfielder.

But Ohtani remains the big prize.

Follow The Post’s coverage from the Winter Meetings in Nashville for all the latest updates on MLB signings, trades, rumors and more

Shohei Ohtani is the top target in MLB free agency.
Shohei Ohtani is the top target in MLB free agency. AP

Heyman reported last week that the bidding was “well north” of $500 million and Ohtani could even become baseball’s first $600 million man.

The two-way stud underwent Tommy John Surgery in September and would be unlikely to pitch next season.

He is still one of the most prolific hitters in baseball — hitting .304 with 44 home runs last season for the Angels.

The reigning MVP also struck out 167 batters in 132 innings before dealing with the elbow injury.

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