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Reports: Japanese two-way star Ohtani not interested in joining D-backs

(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

The Arizona Diamondbacks won’t be making a big splash by signing 23-year-old Japanese star Shohei Ohtani.

As the two-way player considered his options to join MLB, reports surfaced Sunday that the D-backs are out of the running for his services.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert both reported that sources told them Arizona was not under consideration.

While Arizona was never viewed as a likely landing spot for Ohtani’s services, it remained an outside possibility as it became clear Ohtani was spurning teams on the East Coast while not prioritizing money as he searches for a fit.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were among the suitors out of the running, while the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners are in the mix, reports Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.

Perhaps the most compelling free agent due to his two-way abilities, Ohtani could potentially see a lot of the D-backs down the road if he joins an NL West rival.

Ohtani slashed .322/.416/.588 in 104 games for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters last year before putting up similar numbers this year while playing in just 64 games during the 2017 Nippon Professional Baseball league season.

On the mound, he held a 1.86 ERA through 140 innings pitched in 2016 before recording a 3.20 ERA in just 25 innings this past season as he dealt with ankle and quadriceps injuries.

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