Ohtani reportedly may come to US after 2017 season
By William Boor
Despite caps on spending for international free agents in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Shohei Ohtani may be coming to the United States following the 2017 season, according to reports.
The new CBA caps spending on international free agents at $5 million to $6 million per team for players not yet 25 years old. Ohtani, the famed Japanese pitcher and designated hitter, is just 22 and would likely command more than that on the open market.
When the details of the CBA came out, many speculated Ohtani would remain in Japan until he turned 25. But Sponichi, a Japanese news site, reported the Nippon Ham Fighters are going to post Ohtani after the 2017 season.
Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan added to the report, citing sources that told him "there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players."
Ohtani has played four seasons in the Nippon Professional Baseball, and he is a career .275 hitter. In 2016, He hit .322 with 22 homers and 67 RBIs in 104 games. Ohtani also went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and struck out 174 batters in 140 innings on the mound.
William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.