Report: Shohei Ohtani Meeting With Blue Jays in Toronto This Weekend

It's not a headline any Toronto Blue Jays fans thought they'd be reading, but a source close to the team tells Baseball Rumors that superstar free agent Shohei Ohtani is in The Six this weekend to meet with Blue Jays brass. 

And helping matters out, apparently, is current Jays pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, the Japanese lefthander who's coming off a strong season in Toronto. Kikuchi faced off against Ohtani a number of times between 2013 and 2017, when both were top pitchers in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan. 

Ohtani became a free agent this winter after five seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, and is looking for a new home. He underwent elbow surgery recently and won't be able to pitch in 2024, though hopes to resume doing so in 2025 and beyond. 

But he will be able to swing the bat as a DH next season, and the Jays are certainly looking for an offensive boost after a mediocre season for the team at the plate. Ohtani had his best major league season with the bat in 2023, blasting 44 home runs, with 95 RBIs, and a .304 average. His 1.066 OPS, .412 on-base, .654 slugging and OPS+ of 184 were all TOPS in the majors. 

Although his season on the mound was cut short by the elbow problem, he's still the leading candidate to grab his second AL MVP award when the winners are announced this month. 

It's expected to cost about $500M on a long-term deal to win the services of the 29-year-old two-way superstar; whether the Blue Jays are willing to meet that price, and are able to beat out more attractive bidders for his services, like the LA Dodgers, remains to be seen. 

Ohtani is apparently spending the entire weekend in Toronto.

Photo: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports