Shohei Ohtani, who has been called the “Japanese Babe Ruth,” is in America and preparing to meet with MLB teams.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, those meetings with the potential star could begin “as soon as next week.”
Ohtani arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday night and is expected to draw interest from many franchises. The 23-year-old can be used as both a pitcher and hitter, which is exceedingly rare in the MLB and the main reason he’s been compared to Babe Ruth.
Due to the league’s posting system rules, Ohtani’s initial contract won’t be as hefty as most would expect. He’ll sign a minimum-salary deal and cannot receive a bonus of more than $3.55 million. His team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, will collect a $20 million fee.
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.
As a result, bonus money might not be the biggest draw for Ohtani, who is temporarily restrained financially due to his limited years of professional experience. But if he’s anywhere near as effective in the MLB, he’s going to demand a massive payday soon.