Shin-Soo Choo hires Scott Boras, denies Indians' contract attempts

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Last month Shin-Soo Choo fired his agent and hired Scott Boras, and it didn’t take long for the Indians to feel the impact. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports that the Indians have approached Choo about a long-term contract extension, but “negotiations don’t seem to be going anywhere.”
Choo won’t even be eligible for arbitration until next season, so he’s under team control through 2013 either way, but Cleveland’s lengthy history of locking up their promising, pre-arbitration players long term is colliding with Boras’ tendency to steer his clients toward free agency.
Castrovince notes that the Indians would like to sign Choo to a five-year deal with a sixth-year team option that would pre-pay for his arbitration and delay his hitting the open market, but “neither Boras nor Choo have shown much interest in going that route.”
“It’s up to Boras and the Indians to figure that out,” Choo said. “That’s not my job. My job is to worry about the team.”

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.