The Shohei Ohtani train might be stuck in the station if the MLB Players Association and MLB cannot quickly come to an agreement on the protocol for posted players from NPB.
As of late last week, the MLBPA – a necessary party to the agreement already reached by MLB and NPB – was balking at a variety of terms, including the timing of posted players, the way service time issues would be sussed out, and, of course, the amount of money players coming over can get (versus what their team can get).
Jon Morosi reports that things did not come together last night, and the sides are up against a (self-imposed) deadline tonight:
Shohei Ohtani’s move to @MLB in 2018 is not certain to happen. Source says there was no progress last night (Eastern time) in posting system negotiations, regarding MLBPA’s concerns. It’s now after midnight in Tokyo, less than 10 hours to deadline. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 20, 2017
But, keep in mind, Morosi himself has said that the sides will keep negotiating beyond tonight if progress is made today:
Shohei Ohtani’s availability to @MLB teams this offseason hinges on negotiations tomorrow. Source says MLBPA has set Monday 8 pm ET deadline to strike new posting deal or agree to extension of deadline if progress is made. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 19, 2017
Odds remain strong that at least enough progress will be made today to keep the sides talking. MLB has already conceded that they weren’t expecting a new posting agreement to be in place until December, so it seems like there’s time.
But until the posting agreement is officially in place, Ohtani cannot be posted, and teams cannot go crazy trying to woo him.