Dodgers' Roberts confirms meeting with Ohtani: 'I think it went well'
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed Tuesday that the club recently met with superstar free agent Shohei Ohtani at Dodger Stadium.
"I think it went well," Roberts said, according to The Athletic's Fabian Ardaya.
Roberts added that the meeting took place a "couple days ago" and allowed the two sides to become more familiar, reports MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.
"Clearly, Shohei is our top priority," Roberts said, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes subsequently declined to comment on whether the club met with Ohtani but said he was surprised by Roberts' remarks, according to Ardaya.
The Dodgers are among a handful of teams connected to Ohtani in free agency.
The Toronto Blue Jays have also been tied to Ohtani and are believed to have hosted the 29-year-old at the team's spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, on Monday.
Ohtani is expected to land a contract over $500 million after winning his second AL MVP in the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Angels.
Despite Ohtani's free agency being shrouded in mystery this offseason, Roberts said he didn't want to lie when asked about the meeting.
"We want to respect Shohei's wishes as far as being private," Roberts said, according to The Associated Press. "But obviously people talk. I don't think I need to share what we talked about."
The three-time All-Star underwent surgery to repair a UCL tear in his pitching elbow in September and isn't expected to take the mound in 2024.