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Shohei Ohtani: 5 things to know about the Japanese star

By in Press Enterprise on December 4, 2017

By Jeff Fletcher

The Angels and Dodgers are now both confirmed to be set for face-to-face meetings with Shohei Ohtani this week in Southern California, the next step in the pursuit of the Japanese superstar.

The Padres, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs round out the final seven, with the other 23 teams eliminated.

Ohtani, 23, is expected to meet with representatives of the seven teams this week, likely with visits to their cities coming later in the process. He has to make a decision by Dec. 22.

As the baseball world watches the situation unfold, here are answers to some of your most popular questions:

How much money can teams offer?

Because Ohtani falls under baseball’s international signing limits, his potential bonus is a relatively insignificant sum. The Rangers can offer the most, $3.535 million, followed by the Mariners ($1.55 million) and Angels ($1.315 million). The Dodgers, Padres, Cubs and Giants are all limited to $300,000, a penalty for exceeding their pool in recent years. The up-front cost to whichever team signs Ohtani will be his bonus plus a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters.

What about Ohtani’s salary in 2018 and beyond?

Ohtani has to be signed to a minor league deal. When he’s initially added to the 40-man roster next season, he’ll make the major league minimum of $555,000. He’ll have three years in which he can be optioned, just like any other rookie. He won’t be eligible for arbitration until after his third season, at the earliest, and for free agency until after his sixth. If he performs as expected in his first year, it’s likely his team will offer him some sort of multi-year deal long before he’s eligible for free agency. That could be anything from a five-year deal taking him through arbitration to a 10-year, […]    

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