Padres will be last team to make their pitch to Shohei Ohtani

So much about the frenzied courtship of Shohei Ohtani has been unclear. Another question arose Tuesday: Is the Japanese free agent saving the best for last?

The Padres are the only team among seven finalists that has yet to make a pitch to Ohtani in Los Angeles. That meeting presumably will take place Wednesday.

Ohtani, who faces a Dec. 22 deadline to finalize a stateside contract, heard from multiple clubs Monday and Tuesday. According to reports, the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels met with him Monday, and the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners cycled through Tuesday.

The exact composition of the Padres’ traveling party is not known, but in addition to General Manager A.J. Preller, the organization can send several officials who have extensively scouted Ohtani or have history with the 23-year-old. A potential contingent could include front-office employees Hideo Nomo, Takashi Saito, Trevor Hoffman, Logan White and Acey Kohrogi; sports science director Seiichiro Nakagaki; and manager Andy Green.

Ohtani has valued confidentiality throughout his recruitment. On Tuesday, officials on both sides declined to reveal the specific time of their upcoming sit-down. Most, if not all, of Ohtani’s meetings with the other finalists were confirmed after they occurred.

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