Shohei Otani Newsbeat
Saturday, April 08, 2017
What are the loopholes?
For all his other gifts, Ohtani’s timing is lousy. Had he decamped to the majors after last season, he would have been eligible for a hefty eight-figure annual salary. (The Rangers will pay Darvish $11 million in 2017; Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka will earn $22 million.) But the collective bargaining agreement signed over the winter—perhaps with Ohtani’s arrival in mind—slashes the earning potential of international players under age 25, treating them as amateur signees. Depending on a team’s revenues and pool money, the signing bonus falls between $4.75 million and $10 million. Worse, these players must accrue six years of service before they are eligible for free agency. All may not be lost, though. Multiple sources tell SI that there could be loopholes that allow Ohtani to avoid this cap. Still, his decision to stay in Japan this season may have cost him more than $100 million.
Ohtani shrugs. “As long as I have enough money to be able to play baseball and am enjoying baseball,” he says, “that’s all I’m asking for right now.” This is more than lip service: Ohtani is not exactly Babe Ruth’s equal in the Department of Sybaritic Living. Fighters sources say that Ohtani spends virtually nothing, lodging at the drab team dorms and reportedly living on less than the $1,000 a month his parents send him from his earnings. He takes team-subsidized cabs to games. He seems to spend mostly on fitness books and workout equipment. Depending on the sponsor that night, the Fighter Player of the Game will sometimes receive free bags of rice or salmon steaks or stalks of asparagus; Ohtani will happily take them, figuring it’s one less run to the grocery store.
Posted: April 08, 2017 at 12:19 PM | 11 comment(s)
Monday, March 20, 2017
Thursday, February 02, 2017
It’s worth noting that Otani could still appear in the tournament as a hitter. The odds of that are uncertain, however, given Nippon-Ham’s concern that Otani’s condition could require surgery if it worsens.
Friday, December 16, 2016
From what I can read in the CBA a team can’t sign Otani to a one-year contract which makes him a free agent the following year. Does anyone know if my reading is correct?
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
This is a problem for NPB teams.
If Otani comes next year and the rules are not changed, an MLB team would not be able to offer him a contract a lot more than $5 million. The amount varies from team to team.
The change makes a mockery of MLB’s agreement with NPB, because Otani would be able to freely negotiate—provided he accepts a contract far below his market value.
“This is ridiculous,” an official with one NPB team told Kyodo News upon being asked about the report. “This is something that needs to be discussed with us.”
“Just when Otani was about to come over, they changed the rules,” he said, remembering that Otani had been very close to signing directly with an MLB club out of high school.
“This is great for MLB, because it could encourage players who want to play in MLB to go directly to the States instead of to NPB. That might have been the intention.”
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
“He’s the modern-day Babe Ruth,” a Pacific Rim scout from an American League team said. “He’s a top-of-the-rotation pitcher and the middle-of-the-order hitter. We haven’t seen anything like him in modern times. Whenever he comes to America, he’s going to break the bank. There has never been anybody in free agency who could ever market themselves as a two-way player before.”
Players cannot become free agents in the NPB until they accumulate nine years of service time.
However, there is talk that the Fighters will allow him the opportunity to come to the major leagues next winter via the posting system. They would almost certainly gain the maximum $20 million posting fee from the major-league team that would sign Otani.
Some major-league executives believe Otani could possibly command a contract of at least $200 million if posted and some suggest he could even reach $250 million.
Otani throws his fastball in the high-90s and has been clocked as high as 103 mph. He complements it with a low-90s forkball that appears to “fall off the table” as it reaches home plate.
Though his changeup is still in the rudimentary stages, the scout said “it doesn’t matter because his other pitches are so good.”
Otani is also an outstanding athlete, who played a combined 62 games on the outfield corners in his first two NPB seasons. However, a sprained ankle sustained early in the 2014 season caused the Fighters to use exclusively as a DH the past two seasons.
The scout believes Otani would be able to handle major league pitching.
“His power is just starting to develop and he has a good eye,” the scout. “I’m sure there would be an initial adjustment period, more than it would be for him as a pitcher, but he has great talent.”
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
This is some crazy stuff. How can we not be excited to see this guy play in MLB?
“I actually think the guy might get a $300 million deal,” said a scout who has had multiple looks at the righty pitcher/lefty hitter. “That is how special a talent he is. He has power No. 1 starter stuff. He is throwing 99 [mph] in the eighth inning. His secondary stuff is unhittable. He is big and loose. His fastball is electric and his curve, cutter and split are all 70s [on the 20-80 scouting scale].
“And I think he is getting better as a hitter. I think an American hitting coach teaches him to turn on the ball more and he can be a 45-homer guy. He has Darryl Strawberry power. He is the face of a franchise. He is a big, handsome guy and when he plays baseball you cannot take your eyes off of him.”
for his generous support.
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