More teams are starting to reveal interest for Shohei Otani as MLB Trade Rumors have reported that the Cubs have now have interest. Which brings the list of interested teams to:
- Red Sox
The Nippon Ham Fighters drafted Otani in the NPB Player draft so they have until the end of March to negotiate a contract with Otani. It will be very tempting for MLB teams to step in before that, especially with Shohei expressing interest to start his career in the States.
MLB was already in hot water with Korean Baseball with the way the Orioles handled the signing of Kim Seong-min. Kim was 17 and the Orioles breached the protocol for signing a player out of high school, thus landing themselves as a ban.
So we reach this point of game theory. For the best interest of baseball, teams will have to try not to sign Otani before the end of March. However, if a team wants the supreme competitive advantage of signing a player that can change the course of a franchise (which is generally the feeling of highly touted prospects, even though it isn’t always the outcome) then a team might not care about messing with international relationships for every MLB franchise.
International Baseball is about to become a big, public game of chicken for the next several months.