With Election Day next week, perhaps it’s timely to report that Shohei Otani has procured a significant endorsement. “Of course,” the Dodgers’ Yu Darvish said Tuesday through his interpreter, when asked if he knew the next great Japanese player. “He’s from Japan. He’s played in Japan for the same team [the Nippon Ham Fighters]. So I’ve seen him so many times and worked out with him. “It’s really hard to tell. You never know what’s going to happen here. I know he’s a great player, and I just don’t think he’s going to have bad numbers here. That’s all I can say.” That’s plenty, isn’t it? Otani, the 23-year-old who excels in both pitching and hitting — and has made clear his desire to do both in Major League Baseball — is expected to be posted by the Fighters to MLB this coming winter. Should that happen, the competition for his services will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen, because the rules of the collective bargaining agreement — in conjunction with the money teams already have spent on international free agents under 25 — severely limit Otani’s compensation to a signing bonus of roughly $4 million. Therefore, Otani will make a decision that truly won’t be based on finances; any attempts by teams to guarantee huge extensions down the line will be monitored by the Commissioner’s Office. Count on the Yankees, whose general manager Brian Cashman traveled to Japan to personally witness an Otani start, to be at the forefront of the scrum to land him. Every indication is that the Yankees agree with Darvish: They just don’t think that Otani is going to have bad numbers here.
Yu Darvish talks Japan star Otani, won’t meet with Gurriel
New York Post | Nov 1