For teams like the Chicago Cubs, there is a holding pattern on their off-season moves as they wait for a decision from two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.
The Cubs are among a group of finalists for Ohtani that include the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, and Toronto Blue Jays. There have been conflicting reports in the last 24 hours regarding whether or not Ohtani will be making a decision this week.
While most of Major League Baseball is in Nashville this week for the Winter Meetings, Ohtani is believed to be meeting with teams in Los Angeles. To that end, it's worth noting that while Cubs' general manager Carter Hawkins has been spotted at the Winter Meetings, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has not been seen yet.
Jon Heyman reported on Sunday that Ohtani has already received multiple offers worth more than $500MM with there being a chance that the offers may reach $600MM. In an update from the Winter Meetings on Monday, Heyman suggested that Ohtani will not be signing this week.
Given the privacy that has been afforded to Ohtani and interested teams during this process, no reporter likely knows whether or not Ohtani will sign this week.
The longer that Ohtani takes to make a decision, the longer the rest of the market will be on hold. A trade involving Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres likely will be on hold until the Padres know whether or not one of the teams that miss on Ohtani will pivot to Soto. Ditto for the signing of free agent Cody Bellinger. A Winter Meetings where Ohtani does not make a decision could lead to a slower week than normal for the event.