Shohei Ohtani Reportedly Meeting with Multiple Teams in LA, Including Mariners

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 2, 2017

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2015, file photo, Japan's starter Shohei Otani pitches against South Korea during the first inning of their semifinal game at the Premier12 world baseball tournament at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. A person familiar with the decision says Major League Baseball owners on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, have approved a new posting agreement with their Japanese counterparts in a move that allows bidding to start for coveted pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani.   The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.  (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi, File)
Toru Takahashi/Associated Press

Now that Shohei Ohtani has been posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, Major League Baseball teams are gearing up to make their pitch to the Japanese superstar.

Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Ohtani is scheduling meetings with clubs next week in Los Angeles.

Passan added the Seattle Mariners have specifically asked some players on their roster to be available between Tuesday through Friday next week for a potential meeting with Ohtani.

Ohtani was officially posted on Friday after owners ratified MLB's new agreement with Nippon Professional Baseball.

Since Ohtani is just 23 years old, he falls under MLB's international free-agent rules that restrict how much money he's able to receive from a team when he signs.

Seven teams have more than $1 million in their international bonus pool money remaining, led by the Texas Rangers ($3.54 million) and New York Yankees ($3.50 million), per the Associated Press. The Mariners have the fifth-most available money to spend at $1,557,500.

Passan noted the Yankees are the scariest team in the Ohtani sweepstakes because of how their roster looks heading into 2018, size of the New York market and a long history with Ohtani's agents at Creative Artists Agency.

The negotiating window for teams under the posting system is three weeks, making Dec. 22 the latest Ohtani will sign with a club, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

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