The hot stove hasn't really started heating up yet. We saw Aaron Nola re-sign this weekend but other than that there hasn't been any movement. One move everyone is waiting on is Shohei. Where will he go? How long will the deal be? How much will he get? Usually with these big free agents you hear rumblings from the beat guys who may or may not be in cahoots with agents trying to drum up a market. Get information out to the public, get things stirred up. Ohtani won't be allowing that to happen.
"If visits between Ohtani and a team are reported publicly, it will be held against the team, so the circles will be tiny and tight."
Last week Jeff Passan wrote that Shohei will be holding secret free agent meetings and will be holding it against teams if information from these meetings leak out. They want this process to be 100% behind closed doors. Super secret Shohei, and I don't hate that move at all. This is going to be the most anticipated free agency in MLB and maybe sports history, they want it all under lock and key. The only other person I can think about in sports who has hit free agency in their prime like this is Lebron, and you remember that frenzy. Tom Brady was way over the hill when he finally hit FA, but Ohtani and Lebron are the only 2 that jump to mind.
Immediately I thought of the Braves and how they keep EVERY move they make a total secret, this is right up their alley. Ohtani's team doesn't want any details leaking out, they want all information kept inside until he signs. I'm sure there is some reporter in on it and we'll get some cool in-depth behind the scenes look at the courting of Ohtani and we'll read it in The Athletic or something, but until then Ohtani's camp wants all numbers and meetings kept behind closed doors.
Sounds like fans will be left in the dark until we see the tweet that he is signing somewhere. Could be today, could be in January, who knows. Rumor was that he could sign before the Winter Meetings as well too. He could shake up the whole free agency....too bad we won't know any details for it. But I respect Ohtani and his camp wanting it all private, no need for numbers to leak out, we will find out when he puts pen to paper.
I do like having the idea of Shohei Ohtani sneaking around to these big cities in a disguise. Certainly no one will be able to recognize him walking into the Warehouse in Baltimore looking like Bobby Valentine.