White Sox take shot at coveted free agent Shohei Ohtani
Dec 02, 2017, 00:44
If the official posting happens Friday, that would put his signing at no later than December 22.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, those meetings with the potential star could begin "as soon as next week". The most important rollover facet is that the Nippon-Ham Fighters will receive a $20 million posting fee from the team that signs Ohtani. Additionally, he has plus-plus raw power and has been clocked as an 80-grade runner, so there is seemingly nothing he can't do.
While the bulk of MLB's release detailed rules of the new system that will be in effect from November 2018-October 2021, Ohtani will be everyone's focus in the short term.
All 30 teams could potentially be in the mix, since worldwide signing caps significantly limit the price of the 23-year-old.
Ohtani's agent, Nez Balelo, sent a questionnaire to all 30 Major League Baseball teams last week asking about how the young star might fit their team and their city, the quality of their facilities, and their preferences on how to balance Ohtani's hitting and pitching duties.
Starting next offseason, the posting period will be shortened to Nov 1 through Dec 5, and the period to reach a deal after a player is posted will revert of its traditional 30-day length.
Texas has the most money remaining to sign worldwide players under age 25 in its pool for the period running through June 15 at $3,535,000, followed by the New York Yankees at $3.5 million, Minnesota ($3,245,000), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1,557,500) and Miami ($1.49 million).
Otani was the 2016 Pacific League MVP and was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year for the Fighters, limited because of thigh and ankle injuries.
A right-hander, Otani 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.
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