The Nippon Ham Fighters announced that they will post Japanese superstar Shohei Otani, allowing the pitcher/slugger to come to the majors, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
Otani “willing to leave millions of dollars on the table” by coming over at age 23 instead of waiting until he is 25, according to Mike Oz of Yahoo Sports.
Players under 25 who are posted, fall under MLB’s international bonus pool restrictions, capping what teams can offer that specific player.
“If Otani were to wait until he turned 25, his MLB contract would easily be nine figures,” Oz explained.
“Instead, he wants to prove himself at 23, so teams have to treat him the same way they would a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic. He’ll get a signing bonus and the same standard contract any MLB draft pick or international free agent would.”
The Texas Rangers can offer the biggest signing bonus at $3.535 million. The New York Yankees ($3.25 million) and Minnesota Twins ($3.245 million) can offer the next highest figures while teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners are the only other teams that can offer seven figures, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.
Let the bidding and courting begin!