Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Major League Baseball approves Japan deal, allowing Ohtani bidding to start

Major League Baseball approves Japan deal, allowing Ohtani bidding to start

That opened a window for the 23-year-old to reach agreement on a contract with an Major League Baseball team until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 22.

With the baseball world awaiting where Shohei Ohtani will end up in MLB, MLB.com posted an interview with the Japanese player that was done in February.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, those meetings with the potential star could begin "as soon as next week".

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The Red Sox reportedly were among the teams that scouted Ohtani in August, so their interest in him isn't a shock.

Some parts of the posting system will be the same as the old one, at least for this year.

General manager Rick Hahn quoted a couple of history's greatest philosophers when describing the White Sox's presentation to prized Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani. Considering the relatively nominal cost, seemingly every team could be in competition for Ohtani's services, especially because he can only receive a maximum bonus of $3.5 million. Texas has the most available at $3,535,000, followed by the New York Yankees ($3.5 million), Minnesota ($3.07 million), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1,557,500), Miami ($1.49 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($1,315,000). The Sox have limited funds in their global bonus pool but nevertheless made a presentation to Ohtani, according to Hahn.

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Ohtani is the reigning Pacific League MVP and was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year for the Fighters, limited because of thigh and ankle injuries. For guaranteed contracts worth less than $25 million, the major league team will pay 20 percent of that value to the team in Japan.

A right-hander, Ohtani has a 42-15 record with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts in 543 innings over five seasons, and a.286 batting average with 48 homers and 166 RBIs.

The players' association wanted that provision eliminated and also desired the shorter posting period.

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Under baseball's labour contract that started last November 30, Otani is restricted to a minor league contract subject to signing bonus restrictions because he is under 25.

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