As baseball’s winter meetings are in full swing, the question on everybody’s mind is which team free-agent two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani will sign with.
Up to this point, there has mostly just been speculation about Ohtani’s free agency.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported earlier in the offseason if visits between Ohtani and a team are made public, “it will be held against the team.”
However, on Tuesday during his media availability at the winter meetings, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was surprisingly candid about his team’s pursuit of the secretive star.
“I like to be honest,” Roberts said. “Yeah, we met with Shohei, we talked. And I think it went well. I think it went well. But at the end of the day, he’s his own man. And he’s going to do what’s best for himself, where he feels most comfortable.”
Roberts also acknowledged Ohtani’s request for privacy later in the media session.
“I don’t feel like lying is something that I do,” Roberts said. “I was asked a question, and to be forthright in the situation, we kept it quiet. But I think it’s going to come out at some point that we met. It obviously already has. I don’t think myself or anybody in our organization would like to lie about it.”
It appears that other members of the Dodgers organization were not happy with Roberts’ comments on their meeting with Ohtani.
Here’s how USA Today’s Bob Nightengale described what Roberts did after his media availability:
“Roberts spoke freely and relaxed for 20 minutes, but his face became serious as he spent several moments reading a text message on his phone after his session. He immediately huddled with Dodgers public relations officials.”
Later on Tuesday, Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes was asked about Roberts’ comments, and like almost everyone else had done up to this point, he kept quiet.