Ohtani visits Toronto with Dodgers for first time since free agency madness

Shohei Ohtani will play his first game in Toronto on Friday since opting to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers instead of the Blue Jays.

The two-way superstar had played the previous six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and was the unanimous choice as American League MVP last season before entering free agency.

The Dodgers were the early favourites to land Ohtani, but some analysts had Toronto emerging as a strong contender after the Japanese star reportedly visited the Blue Jays' spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla., in December.

Speculation of Ohtani being Toronto-bound hit new heights on Dec. 8 after a report from indicating he chose to sign with the Jays. An reporter then stated he was on his way to Toronto.

Social media users tracked what they thought could be the star's flight to Toronto, only for the CBC to report that the individual aboard the private jet was Shark Tank and Dragons' Den star Robert Herjavec.

Ohtani announced Dec. 9 that he would sign with the Dodgers, who handed him a record 10-year, US$700 million contract.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2024.

The Canadian Press