Shohei Ohtani narrows list to seven teams

The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is down to seven

According to Jim Bowden of Sirius XM, the Giants are meeting with Japanese star Shohei Ohtani in Los Angeles on Monday.

Later Sunday, Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski said that Boston is out of the running, as well. Passan reported Saturday that Seattle has asked players to clear their schedules to travel to Los Angeles and meet with Ohtani.

Speaking Sunday night in Stamford, Connecticut, before his annual rappel down a building for the city's Heights & Lights event, Cashman said he had learned earlier in the day that Ohtani was not interested in signing with the team, and indicated the reason is that Ohtani prefers a smaller-market team or a team on the West Coast - or both.

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch was on-site to get direct word from Yankees GM Brian Cashman and, uh, The Grinch. The New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers are also among the teams told they won't sign Ohtani.

Ohtani was put up for bid Friday by the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. Baseball rules said that any team willing to meet the posting price would get a chance to negotiate within a 21-day window through December 22.

With only three Japanese players now signed to major league contracts (Masahiro Tanaka - Yankees, Kenta Maeda - Dodgers, Junichi Tazawa - Marlins) in addition to four free agents and one minor-league contract (Ichiro Suzuki, Nori Aoki, Yu Darvish, Koji Uhera and Hisashi Iwakuma - Mariners), it will be interesting to see if Ohtani actually steers clear of his fellow compatriots. The Mariners now have $1.55 million available to offer, while only the Rangers ($3.53 million), reportedly eliminated Yankees ($3.5 million), Twins ($3.07 million) and Pirates ($2.26 million) have more. In addition to the Giants, Ohtani is also considering the Dodgers, Padres, and Cubs from the NL.

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