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Shohei Ohtani will sign with an Major League Baseball team by Christmas

02 December 2017
Shohei Ohtani will sign with an Major League Baseball team by Christmas

And though that sure was exciting, it's not what had everyone in a tizzy. Foreign players are not eligible for major league contracts until they turn 25 and have six seasons of professional experience.

In addition, MLB said Kazuhisa Makita, a 33-year-old right-hander on the Pacific League's Seibu Lions, will be posted by December 31.

For Minor League contracts, the release fee will be a flat 25% of the signing bonus. The price: a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani's former team, and a relatively small bonus that falls within the parameters of the league's global bonus pool. Under it, the fee paid to a player's former Japanese team will change.

Ohtani, 23, is a star player in Japan and intends to be a double-threat as a right-handed pitcher and left-handed-hitting outfielder with whichever Major League Baseball team he chooses.

Shohei Ohtani, who has been called the "Japanese Babe Ruth", is in America and preparing to meet with Major League Baseball teams.

Neither Ohtani or his team will be subject to the new posting system, as the recently expired system was extended a year. For guaranteed contracts worth less than $25 million, the major league team will pay 20 percent of that value to the team in Japan. The Sox have limited funds in their global bonus pool but nevertheless made a presentation to Ohtani, according to Hahn. In just 21 days, we'll know for sure which team he'll sign with.

Major League Baseball teams can start bidding on Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani, and it should come as no surprise that the Red Sox are interested in his services.