Sport Why Shohei Otani has a clear route to becoming MLB’s first true two-way player since Babe Ruth

21:28  13 september  2017
21:28  13 september  2017 Source:   For The Win

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Shohei Otani (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi). Otani is not yet officially posted, and there’ s still a lot that could prevent him from making the jump to the Majors in 2018. Major League Baseball hasn’t seen a true two - way player since 1919, the last year Babe Ruth pitched regularly.

Why Shohei Otani has a clear route to becoming MLB ' s first true two - way player since Babe Ruth . The two played on a team together hours before Irving was sent to Boston.

Why Shohei Otani has a clear route to becoming MLB's first true two-way player since Babe Ruth© AP Why Shohei Otani has a clear route to becoming MLB's first true two-way player since Babe Ruth

Excuse me for getting a bit carried away, but there's some extremely exciting news out of Japan: Shohei Otani, a 23-year-old righty fireballer and lefty slugger for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, will reportedly be posted by his club this offseason and sign with a Major League team.

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As Jeff Passan points out, the financial particulars of Otani's potential move across the Pacific are dizzyingly complex and will likely cost Otani more than nine figures in guaranteed salary because he's still two years away from the agreed-upon age at which international amateur free agents become international professional free agents. As such, his immediate earning potential will be limited by teams' international bonus pools. On top of that, Passan reports, MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball will first need to negotiate a new version of the posting system to determine what fee Otani's next club owes his current one.

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Golf 7m ago. Jordan Spieth on throwing the first pitch at Wrigley Field: 'It's an honor'. MLB 1hr ago. Why Shohei Otani has a clear route to becoming MLB ' s first true two - way player since Babe Ruth .

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Otani has missed much of the 2017 NPB season with injuries. Last year, he made 20 starts and served as a DH on off days, leading the NPB's Pacific League - astoundingly enough - in both ERA and OPS while still one of the youngest regulars on the circuit. Otani throws triple-digit fastballs and hits monster homers.

If Otani were not held to the international-bonus restrictions, he would likely ink a deal larger than the seven-year, $155 million contract the Yankees gave Masahiro Tanaka before the 2014 season. Instead, an MLB team will need only invest a fraction of that in Otani's bonus and the posting fee. Needless to say, the prospect of getting a player with Otani's talent at a massive discount is compelling to big-league front offices:

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Shohei Otani is the Babe Ruth of Japan, and he could be coming to the major leagues next year. Shohei Ohtani—Japan' s Babe Ruth —is about to change the face of baseball. 1 :16 | MLB . There are, so to speak, no two ways about it.

Shohei Otani is the best pitcher in Japanese baseball. He's also the best hitter. And as soon as next summer he could become MLB ' s most dominant two - way player in a century.

Otani is not yet officially posted, and there's still a lot that could prevent him from making the jump to the Majors in 2018. In high school, he dreamed of forgoing the NPB entirely and jumping straight to the affiliated minors, and he has never pretended he had no interest in playing at the game's highest level. But while Otani has previously stated that he would be willing to do whatever his future team asked of him - be it hitting or pitching - his past suggests he values the opportunity to do both: Otani signed with Nippon Ham after it drafted him out of high school because the club agreed to let him continue developing on both sides of the ball.

For Otani, leaving for MLB this offseason would signify that money obviously is not the motivating factor in his decision. And though bonus-pool penalties will keep a handful of clubs out of the bidding for Otani, he will undoubtedly receive a bevy of very similar contract offers from which to choose.

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You probably know about Shohei Otani , the two - way superstar who has become Japan’ s best player even though he’ s just 22-years-old. Before the new CBA was agreed to, it was fairly widely assumed that Hokkaido would post him after next year

In case you haven’t heard, Shohei Otani of Japan hit a ball clean through the roof of the Tokyo Dome this morning — nearly 24 hours ago, Japan time — in an exhibition game against the Netherlands. That would make him MLB ’ s first true two - way player of the modern era.

That gives him a heck of a lot of leverage to negotiate on the particulars. The consensus seems to be that teams prefer Otani as a starting pitcher than as a hitter, but certainly - given the discount - he will find teams willing to let him try pitching and serving as a DH. And it's not hard to imagine him succeeding since, after all, he has already done exactly that at an extremely high level while at a very young age.

Major League Baseball hasn't seen a true two-way player since 1919, the last year Babe Ruth pitched regularly. Otani has a chance to become that guy, and if he wants it, some team will give him the chance to become that guy. He may be forgoing a huge payday by leaving Japan for the Major League ranks before he turns 25, but in so doing, he can secure an opportunity to prove himself an historic player.

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