The Chicago Cubs have been connected with the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes throughout free agency, but a new update may be unwelcome news to the team’s fans.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cubs’ optimism in their Ohtani pursuit has “significantly waned,” leading them to likely focus on other free agents this winter.
Nightengale’s report indicates that the Dodgers, Angels, Blue Jays and Giants remain as “likely finalists” in their pursuit of Ohtani.
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Ohtani is quite possibly the most sought-after free agent in MLB history, having won multiple MVP awards while also pitching at a Cy Young-caliber level during his career.
During the 2023 season, Ohtani hit 44 home runs and drove in 95 RBI’s in 135 games, slashing .304/.412/.654 for the Los Angeles Angels.
He did undergo surgery on his pitching elbow late in the season, meaning that he won’t be available to pitch in the 2024 campaign. He is expected to try to pitch again in 2025, leaving his status as the most unique player in baseball intact.
As for the Cubs, if they end up moving on from the Ohtani pursuit, there are still plenty of free agents on the market, including Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Cody Bellinger, among others.