The Zeno’s paradox of free agent deals — Ichiro’s imminent deal with the Yankees — continues to draw closer, everyone is saying. The distance to the target has been cut in half again:
At any given time the deal is not yet struck, yet it always grows closer. Like the Antelope Freeway on the Firesign Theater’s second album.
Yet another contract by the Yankees that will not necessarily commit them to anything beyond 2013. Which, sure, in this case makes sense as it does in Kevin Youkilis’ case and Hiroki Kuroda’s. But it is certainly going to make for an interesting season and 2013-14 offseason for Brian Cashman.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.