Seven teams are still all-in on 23-year-old, two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani. That doesn’t mean the other 23 Major League Baseball teams have passed on the "Japanese Babe Ruth." It means that Ohtani has said “no thanks.” A report by USA Today confirms many of the facts presented in this article.

Even the New York Yankees, a team with traditionally limitless piles of cash, didn't make the cut. The elite pitcher and slugger would not even meet with the team, which could not have made Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner brothers very happy. There were reports as early as August that the Yankees were wheeling and dealing in attempts to free up international pool money to lure Ohtani to the Big Apple.

The Yankees were able to free up an estimated $3.5 million to offer as a signing bonus.

Geography may play a role

It would appear as though money isn’t what’s driving the young talent. Of the seven teams that were notified Sunday (Dec. 4) that Ohtani wanted a meeting, five of those teams were on the West Coast: the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers. It would seem for the young Ohtani that proximity to home trumps a big payday.

To be fair, the Texas Rangers are still on the list, and at $3.5 million have the most money to offer Ohtani. Rounding out the list is the Chicago Cubs, who only have $300,000 to offer, but are coming off a recent championship.

There is the history of Cubs baseball that would be a huge selling point for any foreign player.

Ohtani has made it very clear that he wants to play both ways in Major League Baseball, and any team that acquires his services would undoubtedly have to accommodate him. This is not as cut and dry as it sounds, and there are a few factors to consider.

First, MLB teams just don’t do that - at least not on a regular basis, and certainly not in the modern era. In fact, when a pitcher hits outside of his regular duties as a starter in the National League, or when a position player pitches it’s an event. It’s also usually “must see TV” like when Cincinnati Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen lased a 420-foot pinch-hit home on April 6, 2017.

While always considered to be premiere athlete capable of excelling at both roles, Lorenzen’s blast was still a surprise because he hadn’t hit much. After three years of major league baseball and 56 at-bats, Lorenzen sports a .226 batting average with a triple and two home runs.

When Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki made his pitching "debut" in October 2015, both teams could be seen on the top of the dugout steps, eagerly awaiting his performance like little kids. In one inning pitched, Ichiro gave up two hits and one earned run.

An American League team makes sense as a landing spot for Ohtani

When he’s not pitching he could fill a role as a left-handed DH, but only in the American League.

He does have the potential to be dominant in both facets of the game, and it could come down to which team has the most patience. If Ohtani is playing for a contender like the Dodgers, and his hitting isn’t coming along like his pitching, the Dodgers would have to make the choice to replace him or let him suffer through it. That’s a tough call in the middle of a race.

What if he gets hurt?

The scouts say Ohtani is a better pitcher than he is a hitter, and quality MLB pitchers make a lot of money. If Ohtani is pitching well, but only hitting .200 and he pulls a hamstring trying to beat out a groundball to second base then the team may start to question its priorities.

All of that may not matter up front since Ohtani will be cheap and worth the gamble.

At 23, teams are obligated to sign him to a standard minor league contract, which means after the signing bonus his salary can only be the league minimum of $507,500.

Ohtani, like any young player wants to play right away, and it sounds like he’s not in it for the money. An American League team where he can DH could be the most likely landing spot, which means it’s down to the Angels and Mariners. The Mariners can offer him a signing bonus of $1 million, while the Angels can only get to $300,000.

Also, like any young player, Otani wants to win. The Mariners right now give him the best chance to do that.

Ohtani has until Dec. 22 to make his decision. Until then, the baseball world will have to wait and see which of the seven teams get an early Christmas present, and what the Yankees will do with their extra $3.5 million in international money.