Ryan Dempster on MLB Network. Ryan Dempster on MLB Network. (MLB Network.)

MLB Network’s Ryan Dempster broke possibly the biggest story in MLB history Wednesday, saying there’s a “secret team” involved in the Shohei Ohtani free agent chase.

How does Dempster know this? He cited an airborne source.

“A hawk (unspecified species) was spotted flying outside Nashville with a rolled up scroll in its talons!” Dempster posted on X/Twitter.

“It’s an ongoing development in a complex market!” he added.


What a brilliant spoof/commentary on the Manhattan Project-type secrecy surrounding Ohtani’s negotiations with prospective teams this offseason. Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo of CAA Sports, has made it clear to teams that any leak of information from negotiations will be held against that team.

Hence, baseball executives have been reluctant to admit they’ve even looked at a photo of Ohtani. That secrecy has frustrated baseball insiders, inspiring stories with headlines such as, “Secrecy surrounding Shohei Ohtani talks getting out of hand.”

Dempster skewered that baseball insider angst with his “secret team” tweet. A two-time All-Star who pitched 16 MLB seasons, Dempster has often flashed that sense of humor in his broadcasting roles, as co-host of MLB Network’s Intentional Talk and in his late-night Marquee Sports Network talk show Off the Mound.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Wednesday that Ohtani is expected to make his decision by Sunday. It’s doubtful the announcement will be carried via a hawk’s talons, but here’s hoping Dempster didn’t give anyone any crazy ideas.

[Ryan Dempster]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.