MLB restores Mike Trout’s rookie status

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Cliff Corcoran from SI.com notes that MLB has decided Mike Trout will be Rookie of the Year eligible in 2012 despite having apparently lost his rookie status due to a technicality.

As the Orange County Register’s Sam Miller originally pointed out last month, Trout was technically credited with 55 non-September days on the Angels’ active roster last season, eclipsing the rookie limit of 45. However, in actuality, Trout was on the roster for just 38 of those days, with the remaining 17 coming because of service time he was credited with after a short-term demotion to Triple-A.

MLB apparently has cleaned up that technicality now. While Trout will still have 55 days of service time for accounting purposes, only the time he spent on the active roster will count against his rookie status. He’ll be one of the AL’s ROY favorites next season, even if he opens the year in Triple-A as currently planned.

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.