Surprise! And not the good kind for New York Yankees fans.
Japanese star Shohei Ohtani has informed the Yankees he will not be signing with them this winter, crushing the hopes of many "pinstripes" fans of seeing, possibly, MLB's new "Babe Ruth".
According to Bryan Hoch, Ohtani informed the Yankees they would not be invited to have an in-person meeting with the two-way player.
Shohei Ohtani’s representatives told the Yankees that they will not be among the teams invited to make an in-person presentation. Brian Cashman said the news was “disappointing.”— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) 3 de diciembre de 2017
After news broke of Ohtani's decision, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told Hoch the news was "disappointing".
Cashman was also told by Ohtani's reps that they were very impressed with their presentation, but ultimately the Japanese is looking to sign on the West Coast.
The Yankees had been preparing for Ohtani's signing this winter for a while now, going back to the Sonny Gray trade were they a good amount of international-pool money and they continued to collect dollars for Ohtani. At the end they will be left with $3.5 million and no new two-way star.
On their side of things, the Giants and Mariners got great news by being informed they were on the list of finalist.
Sources: Shohei Ohtani continues to narrow the field for his meetings next week. The New York Yankees are out. The San Francisco Giants are one of the finalists. The Seattle Mariners also are in.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) 3 de diciembre de 2017
It appears Jerry Dipoto's plan to go all in on the Japanese star is paying off, as they made it well known that Ohtani would be in at DH and send Nelson Cruz to the outfield.
Other teams like the Twins and Red Sox were also informed they were not invited to next weeks meetings, informed David Kaplan and Peter Abraham.
It's also assumed with the news of Ohtani prefering the West Coast that the Cubs are also out of the running, but that hasn't been reported yet.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, now, also seem like a strong candidate to sign Ohtani, as it was already reported that the Japanese star liked the blue team's facilities.
The Yankees had been thought of as the favorites all along and is somewhat of a shock to their fan base.
Which was already imagining a line up with Didi Gregorious, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Ohtani as a DH and rotation pitcher.