The last we heard from Shohei Otani, the Japanese phenom who can both pitch and hit, his status for joining Major League Baseball this winter had been endangered by concerns from the union over the disparity between his and his old team’s compensation — a gap created by the idea that he would be grandfathered in under the old posting system rules.
Since then, Otani has hired an agency (Creative Artists Agency, or CAA) and that agency will be meeting with the union soon to discuss the matter. Here’s MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi with more:
Sources involved in the MLB/NPB negotiations told MLB.com that they are optimistic that Ohtani’s requests will act as a pivot point in talks, helping the sides achieve a breakthrough that would yield a new posting system for players moving from Japan to MLB.
Morosi cautions that there’s a lot of ground left to cover, but that seems like a positive sign, all the same. Remember, the union has to sign off on the whole thing for Otani to be grandfathered in under the old rules.
One thing is for sure: The Otani saga is likely to dominate offseason headlines. We recently covered what he’ll mean for both fantasy and video games when he does reach the majors.