Don’t Look Now But The Blue Jays Might Be the Last Team Standing In Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes

Dec 5, 2023



Holly Shit, Holy Shit, Holy SHIT.

Sportsnet: In the latest installment of, Don’t admit you’re trying to sign Shohei Ohtani when you’re really, really, really trying to sign Shohei Ohtani, Toronto Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins moved his winter meetings media session online and then refused to divulge where he was.

“Due to a scheduling conflict,” he said Monday, “I wanted to ensure, out of respect for each of you, to not change this, and Zoom permitted me to do that.”

That a simple question about his whereabouts, when nearly the entire baseball industry is at the Gaylord Opryland resort, is fraught enough to generate such an ambiguous non-answer, underlines just how sensitive and delicate the pursuit of Ohtani is for interested clubs. 

Clearly Atkins was not in Nashville — a scheduling conflict, after all, is easily resolved by a simple time change if he’s on site — meaning his absence had to be connected to the courtship process. 

Does Ross Atkins’ mysterious media availability point to a Blue Jays-Ohtani connection? One logical guess is that he was still in Los Angeles, where presentations are believed to have been made to the superstar free agent over the weekend. Another possibility, maybe even a more likely one, is that he was back in Toronto, consulting with the senior leadership of owner Rogers Communications Inc. (which also owns this website) on where things stand. 

Late Monday night, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Ohtani is believed to have met with the Blue Jays at the club’s Player Development Complex in Dunedin, Fla. If that’s indeed the case, it’s the clearest signal yet that there’s mutual interest between the sides.

For the time being, though, it’s all conjecture, with an unusually high degree of secrecy around the process. And while Atkins is expected at this sprawling biodome venue Tuesday, his unusual obfuscation demonstrated both the length teams are going to win over Ohtani, and how they’re willing to play by his rules, too.

Those rules? Ohtani’s agent instructed every team he was talking to to STFU. Radio SILENCE. Any team that does give out details will be “Penalized,” according to Ohtani’s agent.
You can flex like that when you’re the best all-around player in the game’s history.

If the Blue Jays end up doing an end run of every other team in MLB by signing Ohtani, A) the Jays will make that money back (50-75 m a year), and B) every sports donkey and Blue Jays fan in the city will shit their cargo shorts, and they’ll never have an empty seat at the Rogers center. EVER.

We’ll all forget about the last two disaster playoff appearances and Ross and Mark’s end-of-year presser where they blamed everyone but themselves. Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past Mark and Ross to surround Ohtani with a bunch of Whit Merrifields, but let’s not shit all over this thing in case Ohtani’s agent reads this and penalizes the Jays because of it. I don’t want a blog post to ruin everyone’s day. Or the future of the Toronto Blue Jays and ANY hope we have to sign the Japanese megastar who does EVERYTHING.
And how about the shift in narrative around the Toronto Blue Jays IF Ohtani signs? There isn’t a player in baseball who wouldn’t want a chance to make a World Series run with the GOAT. Every Scott Boras player would become accessible at the Trade Deadline, and agents wouldn’t look at the tax issue as a real issue anymore.

Like getting a chance to play with McDavid in Edmonton, players would sacrifice anything to say they played with the best player in MLB history, not named Babe Ruth.

It’s not a done deal. No one knows if Shohei is pulling a Kawhi head fake. Maybe he’s thorough and just wanted to check out the practice facility in Dunedin before heading to Disney World with the GF. But we’re here, and that in itself is a minor miracle.

Enjoy it.

Dean Blundell

Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.

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