Brandon Gomes

It's official: Japanese star Shohei Ohtani is open to MLB negotiations

It's official: Japanese star Shohei Ohtani is open to MLB negotiations

The three-week recruiting frenzy to sign Shohei Ohtani, the enigmatic 23-year-old star from Japan, kicked off Friday afternoon when the 30 owners of Major League Baseball ratified a posting agreement with Nippon Professional Baseball and allowed the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters to make Ohtani available.

Ohtani now has 21 days to finalize a contract, taking another step in a process that has fascinated the baseball industry.

Hyped as worthy of comparison to Babe Ruth, given his ability to hit 500-foot home runs and unleash a 100-mph fastball, Ohtani is the most intriguing, least predictable player on the market this winter. The Dodgers have not hid their affection for him,...

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