Insider Jeff Passan Names 3 Teams As "Chasing" Shohei Ohtani

There are a number of teams whose names have come up in relation to the Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes this winter. Of course, every club in the majors would love to have him. But the latest hint at who might be on the precipice of bringing in the two-sport star just might have come from noted baseball insider Jeff Passan. 

According to Passan, in his latest offseason hot stove report, dropped Monday afternoon, he pegs the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays as the teams that are "chasing" the two-time MVP. 

It would seem to be an unfair fight for at least one of these serious suitors. The Dodgers, of course, being in LA, have the "hometown" advantage, as Ohtani has played in nearby Anaheim for the past five years, and it's always been thought he wants to play out West. Plus the fact that the Dodgers are a perennial playoff contender.

The Rangers are the defending World Series champions, so if Ohtani is looking to go somewhere he can win, the proof is in the pudding right there. 

The Blue Jays?... They don't seem to have the winning pedigree in recent seasons, nor the geography to appease Ohtani. But on the latter point, maybe they do. Sure, Toronto is not on the West Coast (far from it), but it does have a burgeoning Japanese population, not to mention an entire country on its side. 

With a newly-renovated stadium, and fans from coast to coast, maybe the thought of the cosmopolitan city Toronto appeals to baseball's biggest star. 

This will be an interesting story to follow as we head to the Winter Meetings in one week's time. A decision could come down during that crucial offseason event. 

Ohtani took home his 2nd AL MVP Award this past season, batting .304 with 44 HR, 95 RBIs, 20 SBs, and a major league-leading 1.066 OPS.

Photo: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports