Astros not among teams on Ohtani's list

December 4th, 2017

HOUSTON -- The Astros' planned "full-court press" to land Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani never really got a chance to materialize.

A source confirmed to on Monday morning that the Astros weren't one of the teams Ohtani and his representatives planned to meet with this week. MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal reported Monday the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Giants, Rangers and Cubs would meet with Ohtani. Three of those teams are in the American League West.

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Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow couldn't be reached for comment.

Astros owner Jim Crane told on Friday that the defending World Series champions would put on a "full-court press" to try to lure Ohtani to Houston. The two-way star was posted on Friday and has three weeks -- no later than Dec. 22 -- to sign with a big league club that will have to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan.

The Astros were one of the teams that could only offer Ohtani a $300,000 signing bonus per international rules, but it's not clear why he ruled them out. Ohtani who throws right-handed and hits left-handed, spent most of the 2017 season sidelined with an ankle injury, but he went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA in 21 games and batted .322 with 22 home runs in 382 plate appearances in '16.

With the start of the Winter Meetings a week away, Houston remains in pursuit of pitching -- especially relief pitching -- and would like to add another bat.