The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is down to seven

Japan's starter Shohei Otani pitches against South Korea during the first inning of their semifinal game at the Premier12 world baseball tournament at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. A person familiar with the decision says

Ohtani informed the Yankees that he would not be signing with them on Sunday and it doesn't sound like the Mets were ever really in the race to begin with.

As reports have surfaced that big money teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are out, there are others saying that the reason is because Ohtani prefers a West Coast team.

Reports have surfaced that Otani is likely leaning toward a West Coast team in a smaller market, but with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's reputation as master salesmen, the Cubs are still very much a threat to land Otani, according to reports. The Yankees, once considered a favorite, were told they didn't make the cut.

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"I started getting a feel that wasn't good a few days ago", Cashman said. I can't speak for them.

"I know that our presentation was excellent", Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

Any team that signs Ohtani must pay a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters.

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It's never quite been clear what it is that Ohtani wants, but we know that it's not money since his age, 23, limits his contract.

The Mariners have a long history of Japanese stars, and when the Angels acquired more than $1 million in global bonus money last week in a trade with the Atlanta Braves, general manager Billy Eppler said he would apply it to a pursuit of Ohtani.

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. The Mariners have reportedly told several of their players to come to LA in order to meet with Ohtani.

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