Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani was posted Friday after Major League Baseball agreed to a deal with Nippon Professional Baseball and the MLB Players Union allowing the transfer of Ohtani.
Ohtani must be signed before midnight on Dec. 22, and the Boston Red Sox are interested in the two-way star, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski confirmed to Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald.
“Would acknowledge our interest,” Dombrowski told Silverman in a text. “Beyond that, all would be confidential.”
The 23-year-old ace/slugger will likely be courted by all 30 MLB teams, and whichever team lands him will have to pay the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee. Ohtani’s initial signing bonus cannot be more than a team has in its international signing pool. The Texas Rangers currently have the most money in their pool at $3.55 million followed by the New York Yankees at $3.5 million.
Boston, however, only has $462,500 left in its allotted pool, so that could be an obstacle.
Ohtani has a desire to both hit and be a starting pitcher in MLB.
The Red Sox reportedly were among the teams that scouted Ohtani in August, so their interest in him isn’t a shock. Dombrowski’s text confirms a previous statement he made regarding Boston’s desire to pursue Ohtani.
Ohtani’s agent reportedly gave each team a memo to all 30 teams asking them to fill out a host of questions in order to help determine the best fit.
Let the bidding war begin.
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