The expected arrival of Shohei Ohtani hit a snag as the MLB posting system that was in place for international players expired. It permitted MLB teams that were interested in a posted Japanese player to submit a maximum bid of $20 million.
At that point, the clubs would obtain the right to negotiate a contract with the available player. If a deal was reached, the signing team would then transfer the posting fee to the Japanese team.
Several teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, are expected to submit bids for Ohtani if and when he’s posted. However, revised terms in the Collective Bargaining Agreement limit Ohtani to a Minor League contract because of his age.
Before Ohtani can get to that point, a resolution is needed with the posting system. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the previous arrangement will be kept in place for another year:
Major League Baseball and its Japanese counterparts have reached a tentative understanding to grandfather the now-expired posting system for one more year, clearing yet another hurdle to facilitate Shohei Otani coming to an MLB team this offseason.
However, a person involved in the negotiations cautioned that nothing is finalized, and the agreement can still be amended.
While there’s yet to yet to be an official agreement in place, multiple reports this week indicated Ohtani selected CAA Sports as his representation. It serves as the latest signal the Japanese star is bound for the Majors.
If the 23-year-old were to wait two more years, he could be posted and proceed to sign a contract that is not bound by international bonus pool limits. As it stands, teams are able to dole out a signing bonus that ranges from $300,000 to $3.5 million for Ohtani, dependent on their pool allotment.
The Dodgers acquired additional bonus pool space, but are capped at offering a $300,000 bonus because of exceeding limits in the previous international signing period.