The last holdup had been an agreement between MLB, the MLB Players Association and Nippon Professional Baseball when it comes to the posting system. The 23-year-old has been with Nippon for each of the past five years, both hitting and pitching with success, drawing serious interest from multiple Major League Baseball franchises.
Under the provisions for just this offseason, he would have just 21 days to make a choice, which means a signing no later than December 21-23.
According to a New York Post report, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA agreed to retain the posting system for this offseason, with modifications to be installed beginning next winter.
The three-year posting deal has many layers to it. Both sides are said to want the new system to pay Japanese teams a fee based on the value of the departing player's contract, believed to be between 15% and 20%. If the contract is worth $25-50 million, that percentage drops to 17.5 percent, and if it's over $50 million, it goes down to 15 percent.
For minor league contracts, the fee will be 25 percent of the signing bonus.
He is expected to be posted on December 1 or shortly thereafter and will have a 21-day window to sign with a team.
The union wants to cut the additional fee and cut the time period for posting players each offseason from November 1-Dec.
The union had set a deadline because it felt the current free agent market was being frozen, to some degree, by uncertainty with Ohtani, which is why the Players Association got a concession for a 21-day negotiation, as well, wanting to get Ohtani off the board as soon as possible.
Ohtani is the reigning Pacific League MVP and was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year for the Nippon Ham Fighters, limited because of thigh and ankle injuries. He hit.332 in 65 games with 16 doubles, eight homers and 31 RBIs.
Under baseball's labor contract that started last November 30, Otani is restricted to a minor league contract subject to signing bonus restrictions because he is under 25.
Because the 23-year-old is under 25, he falls within worldwide pool rules, which means he can only collect a bonus for what teams have left in their allocations, which range from $10,000 to just above $3.5 million.
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