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Shohei Ohtani moves another step closer to the majors

22 Novembre 2017

If talks stall and the parties can't agree on a new deal, Ohtani, 23, could remain in Japan for the 2018 season - a disappointment for North American fans eager to see the two-way Japanese star. Under the new Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement, a 23-year foreign pro like Ohtani is treated the same as a 16-year-old amateur from the Dominican Republic or Venezuela.

According to the Associated Press, the Texas Rangers have the biggest available bonus pool allotment at $3.535 million. He's also coming over earlier than he hit free agency or age requirements, so he's under the worldwide signing bonus pool rules and can't really make more than in the neighborhood of $3 million.

That Ohtani refused to wait complicated this offseason.

The new agreement, the rules of which will go into effect next offseason, will grant Japanese teams 20 percent of the value of a player's contract if they sign a deal for less than $25 million.

However, the Players Association had veto power and would not approve the deal for a variety of reasons. The commissioner's office and the union extended their negotiating deadline by 24 hours after failing to reach agreement by 8 p.m. Monday.

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Under the terms of MLB's collective bargaining agreement, worldwide players under the age of 25 qualify as amateurs, meaning that Ohtani could only be paid a signing fee from the fixed global bonus pools allocated to each team.

Ohtani becomes one of the most interesting free agents in some time, due to the fact that he starred on both sides of the field with the Nippon Ham Fighters. He has indicated he would like to try to both pitch and hit in Major League Baseball.

The New York Post's Joel Sherman reports this agreement will last for three years and will be ratified by the owners in 10 days. The fee will be 20 percent of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In this phase of the accord, players must be posted between November 1 and December 5, and after posting will have a 30-day window to sign.

Shohei Ohtani moves another step closer to the majors