If this offseason feels like it’s gotten off to a slower start than usual it’s because things have been held up while teams wait on the arrival of Shohei Ohtani. Well, on Tuesday, MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) have tentatively agreed on a posting system and it looks like we’re on track for Ohtani to be posted by Saturday which means he should be signed by Christmas.
We are looking at a Dec. 2 posting #npb sources say.
— Jim Allen (@JballAllen) November 22, 2017
Basically Ohtani will be grandfathered in under the old posting system so the signing team will have to pay his Japanese team $20 million. His contract, however, will be small. He’s also subject to international signing bonus caps which, depending on which newspaper/blog you read, the Yankees either have the most, or the second most money put aside to sign Ohtani at approximately $3.5 million after their latest trade with the Marlins.
In his Japanese career, Ohtani, who is 23-years-old, is a .286/.358/.500 hitter in 403 games. His best year was 2016 where he hit .322/.416/.588. On the mound, he has a career 2.52 ERA with a 10.3 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9. In his best season, he tossed 140 innings with a 1.86 ERA.
He fits in well with the Yankees plans as he would be a long-term answer for the rotation and could also figure into their plans as a semi-regular DH. It’s impossible to say where he’ll end up and in exactly what role, but the Yankees have the flexibility and the international signing bonus pool to get it done.