CHICAGO -- The Cubs met Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday, according to MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal, and they made their pitch to the two-way Japanese superstar for why he should come to Chicago.According to multiple reports, Ohtani and his agents have met with six of his seven finalists, except the Padres.
CHICAGO -- The Cubs met Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday, according to MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal, and they made their pitch to the two-way Japanese superstar for why he should come to Chicago.
According to multiple reports, Ohtani and his agents have met with six of his seven finalists, except the Padres. The other clubs are the Giants, Dodgers, Mariners, Angels and Rangers.
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A right-handed pitcher and left-handed slugger, Ohtani has until Dec. 22 to sign with a Major League team. The team that signs him also will need to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon-Ham Fighters.
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Ohtani got an up-close look at the Cubs' Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., last year while doing rehab work in February, according to the Kyodo News. The Cubs' state-of-the-art complex opened in 2014 and includes a 7,500-square-foot workout and training facility. The Fighters have held the first phase of Spring Training at the Padres' complex in Peoria, Ariz., the past few years.
The Cubs have been quiet about negotiations, but team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein does know how to make a strong presentation. When the Cubs were courting free agent Jonathan Lester, they created a recruiting video that included a fake World Series play-by-play call by the team's broadcasters. In the video, Lester was starting Game 7 of the World Series.
The video also featured highlights of the Cubs' talented young players, such as Kristopher Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, and focused on why it was a good time to play for Chicago. The Cubs did a similar video presentation for then-free agents Jason Heyward and Benjamin Zobrist, and that one included Lester and David Ross saying, "Everything they told us last year came true."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com.