Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Meetings With MLB Clubs Being Scheduled
Shohei Ohtani
Shingo Ito-AFLO/Zuma Press

With MLB owners unanimously ratifying the posting system late last week it checked off the final box for the Nippon-Ham Fighters to post Shohei Ohtani this winter. The two-way star now has until 8:59 p.m. PT on Dec. 22 to sign with a club.

He’s bound by international signing bonus guidelines, because of his age, and the Fighters will be the final team to receive a guaranteed $20 million posting fee as changes won’t take effect until the 2018 offseason.

Prior to official word he’d would have the opportunity to make the jump to the Majors, the 23-year-old sent a questionnaire to all 30 clubs to complete. It included questions on how they intended to utilize Ohtani and what the organization offers as a whole.

The tactic was viewed as a means for Ohtani and his agency to pare down the list of teams who will receive consideration. It’s believed to be comprised of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, among others.

With the clock to sign officially ticking, Ohtani is set to take meetings with teams next week, and it’s triggering a wide range of strategies, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:

Ohtani has long said he was not concerned over a potential loss in salary with his initial contract. Had he waited two more years, he’d be deemed an international free agent at 25 years old. Under such rules, Ohtani would be projected to sign a contract in the neighborhood of $200 million.

Aside from not prioritizing initial earnings, little else is known about Ohtani. A recent report suggested he did not have a desire to sign with a club that already featured a Japanese star.

While speculation will certainly increase as teams sit down with Ohtani and his representatives, there at least is a firm end date in sight.