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Boston out of running for two-way star Ohtani

Coveted Japanese free agent narrows field of suitors
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- The Red Sox were looking forward to having the chance to make a persuasive pitch to two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the most coveted player to come out of Japan in a few years. But they won't get the chance.

"We have been informed that we have not been invited to make an in-person presentation," Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said via email Sunday.

BOSTON -- The Red Sox were looking forward to having the chance to make a persuasive pitch to two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the most coveted player to come out of Japan in a few years. But they won't get the chance.

"We have been informed that we have not been invited to make an in-person presentation," Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said via email Sunday.

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Perhaps cushioning the blow somewhat for the Red Sox is that the Yankees have also been told they are out of the running. According to reports, several other teams were told the same thing Sunday, including the Twins, Mets and D-backs.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters that he was informed Ohtani's preference is to play for a West Coast team.

The Red Sox were hoping their pursuit of Ohtani could be helped by the positive past experiences Japanese players like Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Takashi Saito, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara had in Boston.

Boston's $462,500 bonus pool was far smaller than what several other teams can offer Ohtani, but it's unknown if that was a factor.

It would have been interesting to see if Ohtani would have had the chance to be a designated hitter for the Red Sox and a member of their starting rotation.

With Ohtani no longer a possibility, the Red Sox will continue to focus on their main offseason priority: Finding a big bat.

At this point, it seems a long shot Boston will land Giancarlo Stanton. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported that the Marlins have agreed to the general framework of trades for Stanton with both the Giants and Cardinals. Stanton has a full no-trade clause.

J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer are two of the top free agents the Red Sox are likely to remain engaged with.

The Red Sox have also had discussions with the White Sox about a trade that would bring slugger first baseman Jose Abreu to Boston.

Carlos Santana and Logan Morrison are other free agents who could help the Red Sox get some of the production they are seeking.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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