All 30 Major League Baseball teams can start placing their bids for Japanese star Shohei Ohtani after the league ratified the new posting system on Friday.
Per an official release from MLB (via ESPN's Jerry Crasnick), MLB and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league approved an extension of their previous posting agreement that will run through Nov. 1, 2018:
Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick
MLB clubs have ratified the new posting agreement https://t.co/XJs29Mu4HG2017-12-1 19:00:56
Ratifying the agreement was the last step needed before Ohtani could officially be posted for MLB teams to bid on.
MLB and the MLB Players Association reached agreement on the posting system Nov. 22. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that starting next offseason, Japanese teams will be able to receive a certain percentage, depending on the total value of a contract, for a player who signs with an MLB team.
Per Crasnick, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani's Japanese club, will receive $20 million for posting him. Because he's only 23 years old, two years younger than the required age for international free agents to receive any contract value, he will be limited to receiving a minor league deal that can also include any available money teams have in international bonus spending.
Per the Associated Press, the Texas Rangers ($3.54 million), New York Yankees ($3.50 million) and Minnesota Twins ($3.07 million) have the most international bonus money remaining.
Ohtani is a two-way star in Japan who hit .286/.358/.500 and posted a 2.52 ERA with 624 strikeouts and 384 hits allowed in 543 innings over the past five seasons with Nippon-Ham.