Mariners meet with Japanese star Shohei Ohtani in Los Angeles

Besides the Mariners, the Texas Rangers also met with Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday while the Dodgers and Giants had meetings on Monday.

The quest to sign Shohei Ohtani took the Mariners’ front office to Los Angeles for a face-to-face meeting with the Japanese pitching and hitting phenom and his agent, Nez Balelo.

The Mariners met with Ohtani and his representatives on Tuesday at the offices of the Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, according to baseball sources. The traveling party to the meeting wasn’t known. General manager Jerry Dipoto, director of scouting Tom Allison, Pacific Rim liaison assistant Antony Suzuki and Japan-based scout Manny Noto traveled to Japan in September to watch Ohtani play multiple games.

Earlier reports that the Mariners were bringing in top players to help in the recruiting process have been somewhat downplayed. Star second baseman Robinson Cano is in the Middle East on vacation. But it’s logical to believe manager Scott Servais and possibly Dr. Lorena Martin, the team’s new director of high performance, would be a part of any presentation to Ohtani.

Mariners officials would not comment on any meeting. The team doesn’t comment on free-agent negotiations.

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The Mariners reportedly weren’t the only team to meet with Ohtani on Tuesday. The Texas Rangers followed the Mariners with an afternoon meeting per a report from the Fort Worth Star Telegram.  The Rangers reportedly sent an eight-person team into the meeting.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Cubs also met with Ohtani on Tuesday.  He reported that the Giants and Dodgers met with Ohtani on Monday. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register confirmed the Angels also met with Ohtani on Monday. 

That leaves the Padres as the remaining reported finalists who haven’t met with Ohtani.

On Sunday, Ohtani’s representative narrowed the field of 30 teams to seven, notifying the general managers of teams that didn’t make the list. The Yankees, once thought to be the favorites, were eliminated along with teams on the East Coast. 

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Ohtani seemed to be favoring small-market teams on the West Coast, and the reported finalists is certainly representative of that. All seven teams train in Arizona for spring training. During his time with the Nippon Ham Fighters, Ohtani worked out each spring in Peoria, where the…

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