http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/10/m ... otani.html
MLB Teams May Have To Wait For OtaniBy Ben Nicholson-Smith [October 24, 2012 at 1:00pm CST]
Shohei Otani intends to pursue a career in MLB, but that won’t stop a Japanese team from selecting him in the upcoming amateur draft for NPB teams. Masao Yamada, the general manager for the Nippon Ham Fighters, said he intends to select the highly-regarded 18-year-old with the first overall selection in the upcoming draft, according to a Sanspo report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.
If an NPB team drafts Otani, he would be prevented from signing with an MLB team for several months. The drafting team would have the rights to the right-hander until the end of March, 2013 under an agreement between MLB and NPB. If he declines to sign with an NPB team, MLB teams will be able to bid on his as a free agent. Teams will be subject to international spending restrictions, but as Jim Callis of Baseball America explained this week, those restrictions won’t necessarily be a major deterrent.
The Red Sox, Rangers and Dodgers appear to have some interest in Otani. The Angels don’t seem interested.
Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/10/m ... 5MQ1r3m.99
This is the Jim Callas post from Baseball America
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/pr ... 14229.html
What are your thoughts on Shohei Otani, both from a talent perspective and signability? If I interpret the new rules correctly, he's subject to the $2.9 million bonus pool every team has for the international signing period from July 2, 2012 through June 15, 2013. I'm a Rangers fan, and it would appear they're in good position because they were unusually quiet this year (Jairo Beras notwithstanding), and I haven't seen any high-profile signings that would affect their pool. What other teams still have a significant portion of their pool available?
In my continuing quest to get a head start on the competition in my keeper fantasy league, what is your take on Shohei Otani, who has opted to play in the United States rather than Japan?
With major league teams limited on how much they can spend on international amateurs, which teams still have bonus pool room left to sign Shohei Otani now that he has declared his intention to come to the United States? Which teams are basically out of contention due to previous spending? Would it benefit Otani to wait until next July 2 to sign in order to maximize his bonus?
Otani was the potential No. 1 overall pick in this week's Japanese draft until he announced yesterday that he plans to play in the United States. The 18-year-old righthander is extremely athletic and projectable at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, and his fastball has been clocked in the upper 90s. He also throws a slider and a splitter, though his secondary pitches and command are still works in progress. After the Dodgers met with Otani in September, assistant GM Logan White told the Japanese press that Otani had the talent to be the top overall choice in the MLB draft.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams get $2.9 million with which to sign international amateurs. But unlike the restrictions for exceeding draft bonus pools, which could cost a club its next two first-round choices, the penalties for surpassing international bonus pools aren't as harsh. A team that blows past its international pool by 15 percent or more would pay a 100-percent tax on the overage and be forbidden to pay an international amateur more than $250,000 during next year's signing period.
For a player with Otani's upside, that's not much of a deterrent. Also consider that in the draft, a player of his caliber would be available only to the teams choosing at the very top. On the worldwide market, all 30 teams are in play. Clubs accustomed to picking at the bottom of the draft may be willing to pay dearly for the opportunity to sign him.
Three teams—the Dodgers, Rangers and Red Sox—have met with Otani in Japan, and he said yesterday that he plans on signing with one of them. We don't have access to how much money clubs have remaining in their international bonus pools, but Texas appears to have the most among those three teams. (The Rangers' $4.5 million signing of Beras doesn't count against the pool because it happened in February.) Boston, which spent a combined $1.36 million on Dominican righthander Jose Almonte, Dominican shortstop Wendell Rijo and Venezuelan lefty Dedgar Jimenez, has the least money among the three clubs.
But as I said, I don't think cap space is going to matter when it comes to signing Otani. For the same reason, I don't think he'll have to wait until next year's signing period to maximize his money. He'll need some time to develop, but Otani has a special arm and will get paid accordingly.