Major League Baseball's transfer negotiations will be held next week in Nashville, Tennessee, over four days. The biggest focus is the departure of Shohei Ohtani, who became an FA = free agent from the Angels, and with the highest contract in MLB history expected, there is growing interest in whether he will be assigned to the club after next season in the next week or so.
The Winter Meeting, held every December, is a gathering ground for managers, general managers, and player representatives from all 12 MLB clubs to negotiate transfers for the upcoming season.
The tournament is scheduled to be held at a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, from the 30th to the 4th of this month, and in addition to the coaches of each team, there will be a lottery for the top picks in the first round of next year's draft on the 7th, and a draft for active players on the 5th.
The biggest attention is the departure of Ohtani, who has become an FA from the Angels, and the American media has been making feature articles every day to predict where he will belong next season and beyond.
The Dodgers, Giants, Rangers, Mets, Cubs, and Mariners have been mentioned as possible candidates for a transfer, but Ohtani's agent, Nez Valero, has remained silent so far, not appearing in front of the press at the GM meeting last month.
With a contract worth $1 million, the highest in MLB history, or about 6 billion yen in Japan yen, there is growing interest in whether Ohtani will be assigned to the club after next season in the next week or so.
In addition, the American media has named pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is aiming to move from professional baseball's Orix to the big leagues, as the next player to watch after Ohtani, and the departure of the right-hander, who has won the Sawamura Award for three consecutive years and has been dominant in the Japan baseball world, is also noteworthy.
Leaving during the Winter Meetings last year
Every year, Major League Baseball often decides to leave a player of interest during or around the Winter Meetings.
Last year, two days before the Winter Meetings, it was revealed that Mets ace pitcher deGrom, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, would be traded to the Rangers.
The transfer market began to move at once when pitcher deGrom, who had attracted the most attention as a starting pitcher among last year's FA players, was decided, and five days later, on the last day of the Winter Meetings, the Mets acquired Verlander, who had won a total of 2 games and was an FA from the Astros at the time. Three days later, the team aggressively strengthened the team by acquiring pitcher Kodai Senga.
In addition, the American media reported that Judge, a Yankees player who had been attracting attention as a batter, agreed to stay with the Yankees on December 2, the last day of the Winter Meetings, and the departure of other notable players was also decided one after another.
On the other hand, the 5 FA was in an unusual situation where the transfer market was stagnant, and the departure of high-profile players was not decided even after the start of the camp.
Machado, who was 244 years old at the time and was a free agent from the Dodgers, signed with the Padres on Feb. 3. Harper, who also became a free agent from the Nationals at the age of 12, signed with the Phillies on March 7.
Machado's contract was 2018 years and $26 million, the highest ever signed by an FA player at the time, while Harper was even bigger at 2 years and $21 million.
It is unlikely that Ohtani, who has made preparation for the season his top priority, will not decide where he will belong after the camp-in, but since his departure will greatly affect the flow of the entire FA market this year, it is likely that the focus will be on whether there is any movement during the Winter Meetings.