MLB agrees to new posting deal with Japan

Ruben Hill
November 22, 2017

Major League Baseball, its players' union and the Japanese commissioner's office agreed Tuesday to a new posting system that could allow star pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani to be put up for bid next week, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers and Mariners are often viewed as favorites, though Ohtani has yet to publicly state preferences.

The 23-year-old left-handed two-way sensation of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters will be able to chose a team after he is posted.

The Twins are the only other team with more than $3 million ($3.245 million to be exact). The old posting system between Major League Baseball and NPB expired October 31.

The tentative agreement for the new posting system is reportedly a three-year deal that will start next offseason which means these rules will not apply to the signing of Ohtani this winter.

MLB agrees to new posting deal with Japan
MLB agrees to new posting deal with Japan

The union had set a deadline because it felt the current free agent market was being frozen, to some degree, by uncertainty with Ohtani, which is why the Players Association got a concession for a 21-day negotiation, as well, wanting to get Ohtani off the board as soon as possible. The fee used to be unlimited, but it has been $20 million the past several years.

Japanese star Shohei Ohtani's hopes of playing in Major League Baseball were given a boost after the USA players union agreed to extend a key deadline that could pave the way for a move. He has indicated he would like to try to both pitch and hit in Major League Baseball.

Under the terms of MLB's collective bargaining agreement, global players under the age of 25 qualify as amateurs, meaning that Ohtani could only be paid a signing fee from the fixed worldwide bonus pools allocated to each team. The value of a contract Ohtani, the most-hyped prospect to come out of Japan in years, would sign this year is severely restricted, though. Thus, if a player signed a $100 million deal, his Japanese club would receive $15 million. If the contract is worth $25-50 million, that percentage drops to 17.5 percent, and if it's over $50 million, it goes down to 15 percent.

The union wants to cut the additional fee and cut the time period for posting players each offseason from November 1-Dec.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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