The Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) — Japanese pitcher and outfielder Shohei Otani has cut the field of major league teams he is considering to five clubs on the West Coast plus the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle all remain in contention.
Several teams said Sunday they were told they had been eliminated, and the seven remaining were confirmed Monday to the AP by a pair of people familiar with the choices. They spoke on condition of anonymity because not all teams had announced whether they were in or out.
Otani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement.
The Rangers have the largest signing bonus amount remaining among the teams he is considering at $3,535,000, followed by the Mariners ($1,557,500) and Angels ($1,315,000).
The Cubs, Dodgers and Giants are restricted to $300,000 maximums in the signing period through June 15 as penalties for exceeding their bonus pools in 2015-16 and the Padres are limited to $300,000 for going over in 2016-17.
“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 in Stamford, CT.
“I can’t change that we’re a big market, and I can’t change we’re in the East.”
Otani was put up for bid Friday by the Pacific League’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee.
Barnette stays with Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Reliever Tony Barnette has signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal to stay with the Texas Rangers.
Barnette, who had a 3.75 ERA over 103 relief appearances the past two seasons, had become a free agent when the Rangers last month gave him a $250,000 buyout instead exercising their $4 million club option for the right-hander.
Barnette and Matt Bush were the only Rangers relievers with at least 50 appearances in each of the last two seasons.