Soon, he will be playing in Major League Baseball.
Major League Baseball owners voted Friday to ratify a posting system that allows Ohtani to leave Japan and sign with a team for the 2018 MLB season. Ohtani's initial signing bonus can not be more than a team has in its global signing pool.
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that executives around baseball believe Ohtani would rather sign with a team that does not now have a Japanese player on it.
The Cubs reportedly are among teams that have a high interest in Ohtani.
Ohtani has widespread appeal to major league teams because of his talent and the low cost attached to obtaining him - a direct result of his eagerness to jump to the majors. Under it, the fee paid to a player's former Japanese team will change. His team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, will collect a $20 million fee. The percentages then decrease incrementally as the guaranteed money in the contract rises.
His agent, CAA Baseball co-head Nez Balelo, sent a memorandum to all teams November 24 asking for "presentations in both Japanese and English via email" allowing the agency to "share it with the Ohtani family so we can proceed with our due diligence".
Ohtani was the 2016 Pacific League MVP and was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year for the Fighters, limited because of thigh and ankle injuries. As a lefty hitter, he slashed.332/.403/.540 in 65 games last season, and on the mound, he went 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA with 624 strikeouts in 543 innings over his five-year career.
Texas has the most money remaining to sign worldwide players under age 25 in its pool for the period running through June 15 at $3,535,000, followed by the New York Yankees at $3.5 million, Minnesota ($3,245,000), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1,557,500) and Miami ($1.49 million). There will be a supplemental fee of 15 percent of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.