Major League Baseball owners voted Friday to ratify a posting system that allows Ohtani to leave Japan and sign with a team for the 2018 MLB season.
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that executives around baseball believe Ohtani would rather sign with a team that does not now have a Japanese player on it.
The lucky Major League Baseball team will have to pay the Fighters $20 million for the right to negotiate with Ohtani, but that's a minor obstacle on the path to signing a 23-year-old with a 100 miles per hour fastball, a nasty breaking ball - and a career.859 OPS and game-changing speed on the bases. If the new system had gone into effect, it would have meant a lot less money for the Nippon-Ham Fighters. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
Ohtani arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday night and is expected to draw interest from many franchises.
The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes is officially on.
-"And anything else that would help Shohei choose a subset of clubs on which to focus". Ohtani, 23, can now negotiate with major league teams through December 22.
Major League Baseball sent out a press release detailing the new posting system, which won't take effect until November 1, 2018. Foreign players are not eligible for major league contracts until they turn 25 and have six seasons of professional experience.
For Minor League contracts, the release fee will be a flat 25% of the signing bonus. There will be a supplemental fee of 15 percent of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.