Shohei Ohtani rules out Red Sox and Yankees, prefers West Coast

That was quick Shohei Ohtani says no to the New York Mets

Does Ohtani want to play in Whoville?

Several teams said Sunday they were told they had been eliminated, and the seven remaining were confirmed Monday to The Associated Press by a pair of people familiar with the choices. I can't speak for them.

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.

The 23-year-old Ohtani, a star pitcher and hitter who must sign with a major league team by December 22, has begun informing finalists of their meetings, which could run from this Tuesday to Friday.

Ohtani was put up for bid Friday by the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. Their biggest sell over the other West Coast teams, however: Come play for a victor.

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch was on-site to get direct word from Yankees GM Brian Cashman and, uh, The Grinch.

The Yankees were joined by the Red Sox, Nationals, Mets, Twins, Pirates, Brewers, Diamondbacks and Athletics among teams no longer in the running. By leaving Japan at 23, Ohtani can only sign a standard major-league rookie contract, and his signing bonus cannot exceed $3.535 million.

Among the teams meeting with Ohtani are the Rangers, who have the most worldwide money to offer ($3.54 million) and the Giants, who have $1.84 million available. NY had accumulated the second-most global free agent money, which will be used to sign Ohtani, as major league rules limit the amount he can receive.

Passan reported Saturday that Ohtani had begun to schedule meetings with teams for this week. Ohtani-mania, however, appears will not be coming to Denver unless he is sitting in the visitor's dugout or bullpen.

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