Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani is now available to Major League Baseball teams

Shohei Ohtani will sign with an MLB team by Christmas

The deadline for a major league team to sign Ohtani is December 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Ken Rosenthal of TheAthletic.com reports that Ohtani is expected to begin meeting with major-league teams as early as next week. The price: a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani's former team, and a relatively small bonus that falls within the parameters of the league's worldwide bonus pool. Additionally, he has plus-plus raw power and has been clocked as an 80-grade runner, so there is seemingly nothing he can't do. He prefers the opportunity to both pitch and hit at the big league level.

Some parts of the posting system will be the same as the old one, at least for this year. The fee will be 20 percent of the first $25 million of a major league contract and the percentage drops to 17.5 percent of the next $25 million and 15 percent of any amount over $50 million.

Ohtani's representatives recently sent a questionnaire to all 30 clubs, requesting each team's plan for Ohtani. The Sox have limited funds in their worldwide bonus pool but nevertheless made a presentation to Ohtani, according to Hahn.

According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins are the only teams who can offer a signing bonus of more than $3 million. Under the previous agreement, the time period was Nov 1 through March 1.

Ohtani is the reigning Pacific League MVP and was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year for the Fighters, limited because of thigh and ankle injuries.

A right-hander, Otani has a 42-15 record with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts in 543 innings over five seasons, and a.286 batting average with 48 homers and 166 RBIs.

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