The Toronto Blue Jays can officially be ruled out in the sweepstakes for superstar free agent Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani and his came have made it known that they would personally hold it against a team if news of their meeting leaked, which could serve as a problem for the Toronto Blue Jays. Late Monday night, a concrete update on Ohtani's free agency finally occurred. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Subscription Required) reported that Ohtani met with the Blue Jays on Monday at the team's Spring Training complex in Florida.
All jokes aside about Ohtani's preference for privacy, this is an important development as it does lend validation to the fact that the Blue Jays are a serious suitor for Ohtani. Ohtani being willing to also meet with the team at their Spring Training complex does also suggest that there is legitimate interest on his part.
Beyond that, however, it shouldn't be anything that Cubs fans should be overly concerned with at this point. Rosenthal's report mentions that it is also believed that Ohtani has already met with at least one other team while also listing the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs among the finalists.
It should also be noted that Cubs' president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and manager Craig Counsell were not at the Winter Meetings on Monday. Patrick Mooney in his piece for The Athletic (Subscription Required) mentioned that Hoyer's arrival was delayed as he was tending to a personal matter. Hoyer has more practice in keeping his agenda secret than, say, the Blue Jays' general manager who essentially gave the secret of his meeting away when he told reporters on Monday he wouldn't disclose his location.
The expectation is for Counsell to be at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday and it's likely we will see an appearance from Hoyer as well.