The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is still going strong, and so far there haven't been too many indications of which team he's most interested in.
Ever since Ohtani narrowed his selection down to 7 teams, we've only heard of meetings occurring between teams and the Japanese superstar. It's clear that every team in the running will do whatever it takes to land the two-way stud, but he himself hasn't declared a favorite.
However, MLB Insider Jon Heyman has a prediction of where Ohtani will land.
"I think he's San Diego bound."— Jordan Carruth (@JordanCarruth) December 6, 2017
-@JonHeyman on Shohei Ohtani
On paper, the San Diego Padres fit the bill. They abide by Ohtani's strangely specific criteria of a small market team on the west coast.
It's also been brought to light that the Padres have a long standing relationship with Ohtani's former team, the Nippon-Ham Fighters.
To clarify: The @Padres and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters — Shohei Ohtani’s Japanese team — had a 10-year relationship that expired at the end of October, confirmed Randy Smith, former #Padres exec and current senior adviser to the Fighters GM. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 6, 2017
If Ohtani joins the Padres he will have a chance to speed up the team's expected rebuild.
Ohtani hasn't said anything to suggest that the Padres are a frontrunner, but it would be a smart landing spot for the reserved 23 year old.
We'll see where Ohtani ultimately ends up, but the Padres appear to be right in the thick of things.