The frontrunner for Japanese star Shohei Otani seems to change every day, and as of Friday it’s the New York Yankees.
The Yankees have best positioned themselves to sign the pitcher-outfielder once his team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, make him eligible to come to Major League Baseball later this offseason, according to sources of Fanrag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
“The Yankees are the favorite, there?s no other way to look at it,” a National League executive told Heyman.
Otani’s name has been floated by numerous teams in the league. If a team is willing to pay the $20 million posting fee agreed to between Nippon Ham and MLB, it can sign him for whatever international free agent money the club has left. In essence, finances are not entirely the biggest obstacle in getting Otani to a major league club.
But for now, whether cost is a barrier or not, signs are pointing to Otani wearing pinstripes next spring.