Tampa Bay Rays told they are out of running for Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani has starred as a pitcher and hitter in Japan. [ZUMA PRESS]
Shohei Ohtani has starred as a pitcher and hitter in Japan. [ZUMA PRESS]
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UPDATE, 9:13: The teams that made the cut to the in-person meetings in the second round are the Angels, Cubs, Dodgers; Giants, Mariners, Padres and Rangers. So it's not quite all west coast, and it's not really small market, just not east coast.

DEVELOPING: The Rays got the disappointing word Sunday night that they were eliminated from the competition to sign Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

The Rays had been hoping their commitment to letting him be a two-way player based on their experience with top draft pick Brendan McKay and their small-market size would be among the factors beneficial in their pursuit.

But they apparently couldn't over the geography as Ohtani and his CAA reps appear to be focused on west coast markets as they also eliminated the Yankees, who many had considered the favorites, along with the Red Sox and Mets. Other teams reported to be out include the Blue Jays, Pirates, D-backs, Brewers, Twins and Athletics.

The Mariners, Giants and Padres are among the teams reported to be invited to meet this week with Ohtani, who is in Los Angeles. The Dodgers and Angels are also considered strong candidates, with the Cubs and Rangers possibilities.

Rays officials declined to comment on the news, as they had about their initial interest in Ohtani, out of respect for the process.

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