Shohei Ohtani narrows list to seven teams

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

Informed they made the cut to meet with Shohei Ohtani and his representatives, the Rangers apparently wasted no time in getting some face-to-face time.

With only three weeks to reach a contract and facing interest from virtually all of MLB's 30 teams, Otani's agent, Nez Balelo, asked teams to prepare a presentation about how they could meet Otani's needs and nurture his aspirations as both a hitter and a pitcher.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Sunday that other teams eliminated from contention include the Mets, Brewers, Pirates, Twins, as well as the A's and Diamondbacks.

"I started getting a feel that wasn't good a few days ago", Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters at a holiday event Sunday night in Stamford, Connecticut.

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

Ohtani, the two-way Japanese phenom making his jump to Major League Baseball this offseason, reportedly has narrowed his free agency list to seven teams, and the New York Yankees aren't among them. He's an exciting young talent.

Ohtani could have waited two more years to reach the minimum age at which he would be eligible for a lucrative major league contract, part of restrictions on worldwide signings included in MLB's recent 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.