Shohei Ohtani rules out Red Sox and Yankees, prefers West Coast

Padres among finalists for Shohei Ohtani

The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is down to seven

Shohei Ohtani is ready to make a major splash in Major League Baseball next year, but it won't be in Boston or NY.

For example, the Cardinals, already deep with intriguing outfield options include Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuck, are among the teams said to be interested in several of the Rays pitchers - closer Alex Colome and starters Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters that he was informed Ohtani's preference is to play for a West Coast team.

Ohtani, whose fastball has been clocked at 100 miles per hour, is said to prefer the West Coast and smaller market.

Perhaps cushioning the blow somewhat for the Red Sox is that the Yankees have also been told they are out of the running.

"I did get a sense that I can't change that we're a big market and I can't change that we're in the East".

Shohei Ohtani has narrowed his choice to seven teams - the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs - according to multiple reports. Both finished far behind the World Series champion Houston Astros in the A.L. West but want desperately to win while their best players - the Mariners' Robinson Cano and the Angels' Mike Trout - are still in their primes. "When players are in the marketplace like that, you do everything you possibly can", said Cashman, whose team has been scouting Ohtani since 2012. He's an exciting young talent. Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

Ohtani has been put up for bid by the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee.

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