Shohei Ohtani rumors: Prime suitor's optimism of landing Ohtani has significantly waned

The Chicago Cubs were once seen as a huge threat to sign Shohei Ohtani this offseason, but their confidence in doing so has waned significantly.
Jun 6, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) meets
Jun 6, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) meets / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the entire Shohei Ohtani free agency process, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the favorites to land the superstar. It makes sense, considering their track record of winning, their ability to offer Ohtani a ton of money, and the fact that they're in Los Angeles.

While the Dodgers have been the favorites, the Chicago Cubs had been a team many speculated Ohtani might end up. The Cubs might not have the roster the Dodgers do, but they were a winning team in 2023 and just added Craig Counsell to manage. Additionally, the Cubs could have offered Ohtani a lot of money, and the chance to play in one of baseball's most iconic venues 81 times a year, Wrigley Field.

While the Cubs made a lot of sense in the Ohtani sweepstakes, their optimism when it comes to landing him has significantly waned, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Door remains open for the LA Angels to shock the world and re-sign Shohei Ohtani

The Los Angeles Angels, a team given virtually no chance by anyone to keep Ohtani around, keep watching their chances increase by the day. The Cubs losing hope only improves the Angels' chances. Nightengale believes there are just three other favorites in addition to the Angels when it comes to landing Ohtani.

Shohei has met with the Blue Jays and the Dodgers have always been the heavy favorites so their chances probably aren't great, but the Cubs being out of their way is huge news. Shohei was considering the Cubs the first time around, and clearly is enamored by the idea of playing at Wrigley Field.

All Angels fans can continue to do is wait out the saga. There has not been a lot of news leaked, but this is one of the biggest bombshells of all. He may not come back to Anaheim, but the chances are certainly better now with Chicago out of the picture.