The MLB’s free agency period this year has been somewhat slow, seemingly held up by where superstar Shohei Ohtani will land.
On Friday, frenzied speculation went into overdrive on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, when MLB Network’s Jon Morosi wrote Ohtani’s decision was imminent and would come “possibly as early as today.”
That was followed by reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays were a finalist for the Japanese phenom. Morosi later posted that Ohtani was en route to Toronto.
From there, the story took on a life of its own, with baseball fans and social media sleuths targeting a private jet that took off from California on Friday morning and was headed to Toronto, even resulting in Canadian outlet CBC staking out Pearson airport just in case.
In the end, it emerged Ohtani was not on board the jet. Instead, it was Canadian businessman and Shark Tank cast member Robert Herjavec who was the unwitting passenger, leading to much mocking online and suggestions that if he could throw a mean fastball, he would be a welcome addition to the Jays’ rotation.
USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale delivered the final blow to the rampant speculation when he posted on X that Ohtani was not headed to Canada and was at his home in Southern California.
Whether Ohtani picks the Blue Jays remains to be seen. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants, and the Los Angeles Angels, his current team, appear to be among the finalists jostling for his services.
Ohtani unanimously won the American League MVP last season, the second time the two-way star has won the award. He is expected to shatter the contract record when he signs.