Shohei Ohtani won't sign with the Mets

Japan's starter Shohei Otani pitches against South Korea during the first inning of their semifinal game at the Premier12 world baseball tournament at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. A person familiar with the decision says Major L

The Shohei Ohtani Hot Stove League has taken a new twist as reports indicate he has narrowed his list of teams to seven: the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Padres, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs. And no manager is willing to move players around like Joe Maddon, so Ohtani could play some right field against right-handed pitchers with Jason Heyward shifting over to center. By early Sunday night, most other clubs had been informed they were eliminated from consideration.

Cashman also told reporters that Ohtani seems to prefer West Coast teams and smaller markets. I can't speak for them.

Ohtani was posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters on Friday.'s Bryan Hoch was on-site to get direct word from Yankees GM Brian Cashman and, uh, The Grinch.

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Later Sunday, Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski said that Boston is out of the running, as well. By leaving Japan at 23, Ohtani can only sign a standard major-league rookie contract, and his signing bonus cannot exceed $3.535 million.

The more surprising storyline is that he said no to the Yankees, who were believed to be the favorites in the sweepstakes for the two-way Japanese superstar.

According to reports from several baseball writers, including Jeff Passon of Yahoo, Ohtani is narrowing down his list of possible teams and the Giants are one of them. 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.

The Dodgers can only offer Ohtani a $300,000 bonus. All seven of the finalists will meet with Ohtani in the coming days.