Report: Ohtani 'will be signed' by Christmastime
Report: Ohtani 'will be signed' by Christmastime

The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes are almost ready to open in earnest.

It appears every MLB team is interested in, or at least intrigued by, the 23-year-old talent, and MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal said Wednesday on "Hot Stove" that Ohtani "will be signed somewhere by Christmastime":

MLB, the MLB Players Association, and Nippon Professional Baseball reportedly reached a tentative agreement Tuesday on a new posting system, which owners still have a Dec. 1 vote to ratify.

If the deal is accepted, Ohtani - a pitcher/hitter hybrid - would almost assuredly be posted right away, which in conjunction with the 21-day window to negotiate, would set him up to be signed by Christmas.

Because of international free-agent restrictions, Ohtani would need to sign a minor-league deal as an international free agent and receive a signing bonus, after which he would become a team's property for six seasons.

As of Wednesday, the Texas Rangers had the most international signing bonus pool money at $3.535 million, with the New York Yankees - a reported favorite to land Ohtani - a close second at $3.5 million.

Ohtani hit .332/.403/.540 in Japan last season with a 3-2 record and 3.20 ERA in five starts.

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