Shohei Ohtani is coming to the majors.
Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association, and Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan's highest professional league, reached a tentative agreement on a new posting system prior to Tuesday's 8 p.m. ET deadline that will cover this offseason, according to multiple reports, including MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
MLB owners will vote to ratify the agreement Dec. 1. After the deal is ratified, and Ohtani is posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, all 30 MLB teams will have the opportunity to sign him during a 21-day window.
Under the new agreement, the current offseason will use rules from the previous posting system, with the new regulations taking effect beginning next winter, a source told Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Under those conditions, NPB teams receive a maximum of $20 million in compensation for allowing one of their players to sign with an MLB club.
Ohtani has been adamant about coming to MLB despite the move costing him a considerable amount of money. Had he waited two more years, there would be no restrictions on the amount of salary he could sign for. Instead, the 23-year-old two-way star will be forced to sign a minor-league deal, and the highest signing bonus he could net would come from the Texas Rangers at $3,535,000.
Next offseason, Japanese players can only be posted from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, and will only have a 30-day window to sign after choosing a team, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. That agreement is in place until Oct. 31, 2021. Under the new regulations, rather than a $20-million cap, NPB teams will receive a 20 percent posting fee on the first $25 million, 17.5 percent on the next $25 million, and 15 percent on amounts exceeding $50 million, per Morosi.