Blue Jays ‘very disappointed’ Ohtani chose Dodgers, manager says

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins expressed regret that Ohtani turned down his team and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

TORONTO — Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins regrets that Shohei Ohtani rejected his team after meeting him and decided to sign a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Atkins confirmed for the first time that Ohtani visited Toronto’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, but did not say whether the meeting took place on December 4, when Atkins attended the winter meetings in Nashville via Zoom rather than in person. I spoke to journalists. Tennessee. Ohtani announced his agreement with the Dodgers five days later.

“We were obviously very disappointed with the outcome and it was a very difficult phone call, one of the toughest in my career,” Atkins said Wednesday. “At the same time, (it) was an incredible process and a group effort and collaboration that I feel great about, not only for the process but for the organization, for the city, for Canada what it means to be in that position.” Is .

“I have no doubt that he was exceptionally attracted to this country, this city, this team. We felt incredible about the process, but we moved forward.”

Ohtani also met with the San Francisco Giants, who said they made him an offer equal to the one he agreed to with the Dodgers.

Atkins denied using the Blue Jays to get a better offer from a competing bidder.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I strongly believe the opposite. We felt great about the process. It was an incredible effort, from owners to businesses to baseball, people coming together. This is not the outcome we wanted. , but we felt very good about the process and absolutely feel like it was meant to be.” Authentic and genuine.”

Since missing Ohtani, the Blue Jays brought back Gold Glove outfielder Kevin Kiermaier on a one-year, $10.5 million deal, and added Isiah Kiner-Falefa on a two-year, $15 million deal.

Atkins said the outfield and designated hitter positions are ones he will likely add before spring training.

“We have a great team that we are exceptionally excited about,” Atkins said. “We may be open to a trade. We are not actively seeking a trade away from our major league team.”

Toronto went 89–73 last season and earned a wild-card berth in the American League for its third playoff appearance in four seasons, but fell to a third in a row in two losses in Minnesota.

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