Astros’ are not one of Shohei Ohtani’s final choices

TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 12: Shohei Ohtani
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 12: Shohei Ohtani /

The Astros don’t make the cut for Shohei Ohtani.

It was a long shot for the Houston Astros to sign Shohei Ohtani. They were one of the teams that could offer him the lowest signing bonus of $300 thousand after exceeding the international signing pool. At the time of writing, most of the teams in baseball have been eliminated from the Ohtani bachelor show.

Where do the Astros fit at the moment? They are not in the West Coast, and as of last night, their status is uncertain. According to Ken Rosenthal, Ohtani’s suitors are rumored to be down to 6-8 teams. He labels them as unsure at the moment, along with the Cincinnati Reds.

According to Rosenthal and many others, the Seattle Mariners, LA Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers. He later adds the Angels as another team with a status unknown.

Not so fast!

According to Evan Grant, the only two non-West Coast teams still in play are the Rangers and Cubs. With the Rangers, they can offer the largest signing bonus. However, can the addition of Ohtani really bridge the gap between the Rangers and Houston?

If he was interested in the Rangers, why not the Astros? That would be about $3 million that the Rangers can offer compared to the Astros $300 k. Then the Cubs, they could be a team that could intrigue Ohtani with the history and 2016 World Series.

Jeff Passan later tweets that the Angels are still involved. Take away the Athletics, who have already been told he’s not interested. With how the A’s are run, it’s no surprise he wants nothing to do with them. Via Evan Altman, Ohtani is looking really hard at how each team is run. This includes the front office and manager. He feels this gives the Cubs an advantage, but too soon to tell.

Show me the money?

As we saw by Ohtani turning down the Yankees, he is not overly concerned about the money right now. He is looking for the best fit. My concern is that three of the AL West competitors are in on Ohtani. One player, even one who pitches and DHs, doesn’t make the team a lock to be a good team.

Looking at the AL West, in my opinion, here are the most likely destinations.

1st: Mariners

2nd: Rangers

3rd: Angels

4th: Astros

The Mariners are the favorites at the moment. If Ohtani goes to a division rival, it will not be as fun to follow his story. Here’s hoping he goes to a team in the National League. The question is how he will get his at-bats without the DH in the NL?

Next: Astros will try to sign 2-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, but…

Regarding the Astros, no news is good news. Once we hear the final verdict, we can move on. Until then, we will hold onto that slight sliver of hope. We know that Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow will be aggressive to sign him.

Updated: The Astros are no longer in the running for Ohtani, there are seven teams that will get a chance according to Rosenthal.