Shohei Ohtani will sign with an Major League Baseball team by Christmas

Shohei Ohtani will sign with an Major League Baseball team by Christmas

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 23-year-old will offer any team that signs him (after forking over a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters) a unique two-way star who can contribute on the mound and at the plate. 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.

Ohtani has a desire to both hit and be a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. He underwent ankle surgery in October but should be ready for spring training.

As part of the deal, a tiered system for posting fees will start next November 1.

As part of negotiations this week, NPB dropped its stance that a Japanese team be able to withdraw a posting before the process is complete.

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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.

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.

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. Under the previous agreement, the time period was Nov 1 through March 1.

The Rangers now have the most global bonus pool money available ($3.535 million), followed by the Yankees ($3.5 million) and Twins ($3.07 million).

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