MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have been told they are not one of the seven finalists for Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Sunday.The club, however, has not confirmed the report.• Hot Stove TrackerOhtani narrowed down his list of finalists on Sunday, as he strongly prefers
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have been told they are not one of the seven finalists for Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Sunday.
The club, however, has not confirmed the report.
• Hot Stove Tracker
Ohtani narrowed down his list of finalists on Sunday, as he strongly prefers the West Coast, with the Mariners, Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rangers and Cubs the only clubs that made the cut, per reports published Monday. The Rangers, who have the most bonus money to offer Ohtani at $3.535 million, join the Cubs as the only non-West Coast clubs still in the running for Ohtani. None of the clubs train in Florida either, which put the Twins at a disadvantage.
:: Shohei Ohtani coverage ::
Ohtani's Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, posted the two-way star on Friday, and he has until Dec. 22 to sign with a Major League team. Ohtani is subject to the international bonus pool signing restrictions.
Ohtani's agency, CAA, had clubs submit a pitch for him, and Twins general manager Thad Levine said the club put together a compelling case in hopes of signing the 23-year-old, which Levine called a top priority on MLB Network Radio last week. But Ohtani ultimately informed Minnesota he intended to sign elsewhere.
The Twins have the third-most international money available, at $3.245 million, behind the Rangers and Yankees. But with the club now out of the running to use that money toward the two-way superstar, the Twins could look to trade some of that bonus money to clubs interested in him, potentially netting a prospect in that scenario.
Ohtani's decision otherwise doesn't have much of an effect on Minnesota's offseason plans, as the Twins were never considered a likely landing spot for him, and acquiring a front-line starting pitcher remains the top goal this offseason. And despite falling short of signing Ohtani, Minnesota still has interest in fellow Japanese star Yu Darvish, who is expected to command the largest contract for a pitcher this offseason.
The Twins have a favorable payroll situation going forward, as only Phil Hughes and Jason Castro are signed beyond the 2018 season, and both contracts expire after '19. Minnesota, though, is looking to sign some of its young core to extensions, but even that shouldn't have much of an affect on the club's efforts in free agency.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.