MLB, Players Association And NPB Agree On Posting System, Clearing Way For...

MLB, Players Association And NPB Agree On Posting System, Clearing Way For Shohei Ohtani

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Shohei Ohtani
Toru Takahashi-AP Photo

One of the more intriguing Major League Baseball free agents this offseason was expected to be Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, who was slated to be posted by his Nippon Professional Baseball team, the Nippon Ham Fighters.

That stalled, however, as the MLB, the Players Association and NPB had yet to agree on a new posting system. A deadline was set for Monday, which was then pushed back 24 hours to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, amid progress made in negotiations.

Just over an hour before the new deadline, which in some regard was an arbitrary one, reports began to surface of MLBPA and the NPB reaching an agreement on a posting system, which would allow for Ohtani to sign with a team this winter.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the next step is for owners to ratify the agreement, which includes a sliding scale for compensation due to NPB teams, among other terms:

Once the agreement is ratified, Ohtani presumably would be posted by the Fighters that same day or shortly thereafter. With only three weeks to sign, the identity of his MLB team would be known prior to Christmas, assuming there aren’t any setbacks.

Due to the previous posting system that was grandfathered in, the Fighters will be in position to receive the maximum and flat fee of $20 million for making Ohtani available.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are among the clubs that have been speculated as potential landing spots for Ohtani. They, along with all other teams, will face limitations in potentially signing the 23-year-old due to his being part of the international signing bonus pool.