Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that a tentative agreement between Major League Baseball, the players’ union, and Nippon Professional Baseball has been reached on the posting system that would allow Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani to come to the major leagues. It will be another 10 days until the owners ratify the agreement, so the earliest Ohtani can be posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters is December 1. Sherman adds that Ohtani and Kazushisa Makita are the only players that will operate under this posting system this offseason; they have been grandfathered into the old system.
The details, according to Sherman: NPB agreed to a no-pullback position in exchange for a graduating return rate on Japanese players who sign major league contracts in the three offseasons following this one. They will get 29 percent of the value of a player’s contract below $25 million, 17.5 percent for a contract between $25 million and $50 million, and 15 percent above $50 million.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, Ohtani is expected to sign with a major league team by the end of December.
Ohtani, 23, has hit .286/.358/.500 with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances across parts of five seasons with the Fighters. On the mound, he owns a 2.52 career ERA with 624 strikeouts and 200 walks in 543 innings.