Major League Baseball: Deadline extended as ‘Japan’s Babe Ruth’ eyes majors

0
12
The Major League Baseball Players Association has approved a 24-hour extension to a deadline for MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) to reach a new posting agreement for Japanese star Shohei Ohtani

Japanese star Shohei Ohtani’s hopes of playing in
Major League Baseball were given a boost Monday after the US players
union agreed to extend a key deadline that could pave the way for a
move. The Major League Baseball Players Association said it had approved a 24-hour extension to a deadline for MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) to reach a new posting agreement.

The
previous deadline on hammering out a new posting agreement — which
regulates moves of players between the MLB and the NPB — had been due
to expire on Monday.

If MLB and NPB are
able to reach an agreement by 0100 GMT on Wednesday, Ohtani could be
free to be posted and eligible for the major leagues in 2018.

The 23-year-old Nippon Ham Fighters dubbed
the “Babe Ruth of Japan” is regarded as one of the hottest properties in
baseball, a two-way threat with a fastball clocked at 100mph and an
explosive presence at the plate.
He has an array of interested suitors in Major League Baseball according to reports.
Although
his 2017 season in Japan was hampered by an ankle injury, in 2016 he
put up dazzling numbers, with a 10-4 record and a 1.86 ERA in 140
innnings.
At the plate he hit .322 and clubbed 22 home runs.
Under
the terms of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, international
players under the age of 25 qualify as amateurs, meaning that Ohtani
could only be paid a signing fee from the fixed international bonus
pools allocated to each team.
If Ohtani
elects to wait until he is 25 and remain in Japan for two years, he
would enter free agency and be allowed to negotiate what in all
probability would be a massive contract.
Ohtani, however, has reportedly signalled that he wants to move to the MLB in 2018, putting the league’s teams on alert.
According
to US reports, the Texas Rangers, the Minnesota Twins and the New York
Yankees are the only teams with bonus pools large enough to grant Ohtani
a $3 million signing fee.
But Ohtani has indicated that the size of his joining free will not necessarily influence his choice of team.
“As
long as I have enough money to be able to play baseball and am enjoying
baseball, that’s all I’m asking for right now,” he told Sports
Illustrated in April.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here