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Obsessive Ohtani Watch: New Posting Agreement Reportedly Reached – AKA, It’s Happening!

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

OK, are we allowed to re-initiate our Shohei Ohtani excitement?


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After a couple weeks of haggling over the new posting agreement between MLB, NPB, and the MLB Players Association, it sounds like we’ve finally got a deal that will clear the way for the 23-year-old superstar to be posted and come to the United States:

It sounds like the $20 million posting fee will carry over into this offseason, before changing next year:

When the owners ratify this agreement next Friday, Ohtani figures to be posted that day or the next day. From there, every team can negotiate with him, and he’s got three weeks – or just before Christmas – to come to a deal.

Keep in mind: because Ohtani is just 23, he will be subject to IFA rules, dramatically limiting how much teams can offer him (the Rangers and Yankees are up at the top, with about $3.5 million to offer). The Cubs, because they’re in the IFA penalty box, can offer only a maximum $300,000 signing bonus. Once signed, Ohtani is subject to normal service time rules, though the expectation is that he will sign a long-term extension at some point in the future (one that will be scrutinized very closely by MLB).


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No one is 100% certain what Ohtani will prioritize in his free agency, because we’ve never seen something like this, where a young player pushes to come to MLB for relative peanuts, when he could wait just two more years – when he’d no longer be subject to IFA rules – and cash in on perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Yankees are already viewed as the heavy favorites, but what exactly will drive Ohtani? The challenge? The exposure? The chance to pitch and hit full-time? A winning culture? Other Japanese players? Building up a small market club?

We’ll find out soon enough.


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.