The Major League Baseball hot stove is about to get scorching hot.
MLB, MLB Players Association and Nippon Professional Baseball reportedly agreed Tuesday on a new international posting system that will allow Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to leave NPB and sign with an MLB team this offseason, according to Joel Sherman of The New York Post.
Ohtani is viewed as Japan’s Babe Ruth. The 23-year-old star has gone 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA in five professional seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters while slashing .286/.358/.500 with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 403 games.
Since Ohtani is 23 he only will be eligible to sign for what teams have left in their international signing pool allocations. Those numbers range from $10,000 to $3.5 million.
Teams will have to put up a $20 million posting fee to negotiate with Ohtani, but only the team that eventually inks him will have to pay the $20 million to the Ham Fighters.
There was a snag in Ohtani’s posting, as the old agreement between the MLBPA and NPB expired Oct. 31 and a new one was crafted, but the Ham Fighters said they would not allow Ohtani to be posted unless they got the $20 million posting fee which only was a part of the old agreement.
Under the new agreement, NPB teams will get a percentage of the contract their player signs in the MLB but there will not be a posting fee, according to Sherman.
Ohtani has said he wants to pitch and hit in MLB.
The Texas Rangers have the largest pool allotment remaining at $3.535 million followed by the New York Yankees ($3.5 million) and the Minnesota Twins ($3.245 million).
Money might not be the end all for Ohtani, though, because if it was he could have waited until he was 25 and signed a massive deal instead of one that has to come out of the pool allotment.
He is expected to be posted on Dec. 1 or shortly thereafter and will have a 21-day window to sign with a team.
Thumbnail photo via Youtube/bryceharper
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