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Report: Blue Jays, Ohtani believed to have met at Florida complex

Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Toronto Blue Jays remain in the hunt for Shohei Ohtani, and club officials are believed to have met with the free-agent star and his representatives Monday at the team's spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

It's not known if Ohtani is close to making a deal, notes Rosenthal, who adds Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins was absent from the winter meetings in Nashville on Monday but attended a media availability via Zoom.

The Blue Jays also reportedly rescheduled manager John Schneider's media availability from Monday to Tuesday. Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo, was absent from the winter meetings Monday, a source told Rosenthal.

Toronto has been connected to Ohtani for weeks, although its level of interest in the two-way sensation has been unclear. The Blue Jays have been mentioned on a list of Ohtani suitors, along with the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants.

The Blue Jays' interest in Ohtani follows a disappointing finish to a 2023 campaign in which the Minnesota Twins eliminated them in the wild-card series in two games. Toronto hasn't won a postseason contest since 2016.

Ohtani is expected to obtain a contract in the $500-million to $600-million range after winning his second unanimous AL MVP last season.

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