Otani, Fujinami Selected In NPB Draft

3:11pm: Otani can sign with an MLB team at any time, an MLB official confirmed to Ben Badler of Baseball America. Signing with an MLB team at this stage would likely irk the Fighters and other Japanese baseball officials, however. If the Fighters sign Otani then attempt to post him, he'd still count against teams' $2.9MM international bonus pools, Badler reports. Fujinami expects to start his professional career in Japan, according to Badler.

8:10am: Shohei Otani, the Japanese pitching prospect who's drawing interest from Major League teams, won't be able to sign with an MLB franchise before April of 2013. As expected, the Nippon Ham Fighters selected the 18-year-old right-hander with the first overall pick in the NPB draft, Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker reports (on Twitter).

The Fighters won’t necessarily be able to sign Otani, who has said he intends to pursue a career in MLB. They have until the end of March to agree to terms with the hard-throwing prospect under an agreement between MLB and NPB. If Otani declines to sign with the Fighters, MLB teams will be able to bid on him as a free agent, though they’ll be subject to international spending restrictions.

The Hanshin Tigers selected Shintaro Fujinami, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America (on Twitter). Some scouts prefer Fujinami to Otani, Badler writes.


26 Responses to Otani, Fujinami Selected In NPB Draft Leave a Reply

  1. MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

    I think this has a bigger impact than first glance.

    It slows the process of him signing with MLB and thus puts a delay on potential MLB franchises, say some mid-market team wanted to spend their entire or close to their entire international signing budget on this kid, well they would have to wait until April to do so, when basically all the other international FA’s have already signed.

    So they would be putting themselves in a very risky situation to wait it out like that, because if he signed with someone else, they are SOL.

    This delay tells me that he will have to sign with a major market team that doesn’t care if they go over the cap limit, eliminating the posibility for a small/mid market team to have a viable chance.

    • BaddW 3 years ago

      If i remember correctly there’s no written agreement between MLB and NPB about this thing.

      The exclusive period only applied to NPB teams not MLB.

      MLB teams can still sign him if they want but it might cause problem later on since NPB expect MLB to show respect about this kind of thing. Maybe NPB will make a new rule after this.

      • MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

        Did you not read the article you’re commenting on?
        First sentence:
        “Shohei Otani, the Japanese pitching prospect who’s drawing interest from Major League teams, won’t be able to sign with an MLB franchise before April of 2013.”
        Maybe that’s why I said MLB teams will have to wait until April.

        • BaddW 3 years ago

          I do read the article. But as far as i know the working agreement between MLB & NPB is for player under contract with a team.

          There are no written rules barring MLB teams from negotiating with drafted players who yet to sign. It’s only a gentleman agreement.

          But MLB teams will probably abide by the gentleman agreement out of consideration for the NPB.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

            You are incorrect.

            He cannot sign with an MLB team since he was drafted by the NPB until April.

            Plain and Simple.

          • MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

            Alright, update to the article, you’re right.

          • BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

            The article has been updated with the information that Otani “can sign with an MLB team at any time.” So he could do that, at the risk of ticking off a lot of people in Japan.

          • dc21892 3 years ago

            In all honesty, who cares. This is about him, his career and everything him. Sometimes in life, you have to be selfish and this is the time for Otani. He wants to come to MLB, let him do it. If the Japanese fan base gets upset, so be it. They need to allow him to have his opportunity. He shouldn’t have to be enslaved into a Japenese team (whole posting fee issue) like some of the pitchers who have come over in their late 20’s/early 30’s. If he wants to, do it up.

          • BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

            I don’t see that he’s enslaved to anyone, but if he does go under contract with a NPB team, they will own his contract for a period of time. It isn’t so different than MLB. And he can still chose not to sign with a drafting Japanese team and become a free agent next March.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            We go back to the honor thing again and many here don’t understand..

            Yeah.. I haven’t been to Japan in like… 30 years, but it’s a society that is (or was at least) built upon honor. They bow, used to never boo during games. Pitcher would bow to a hitter if he ALWAYS accidentally hit a batter and the entire culture? Not even enough typesapce here to scratch the huge differences that they had at least.

            Has that system gone vastly downhill since then? Possibly, but it was an honor in many ways to behold when witnessing it 1st hand decades ago.

            Many here just treat all cultures as they see and know their own and it’s flat out wrong.. There are more and vastly different ones out there.

  2. FS54 3 years ago

    If Otani signs a deal with Fighters, when is the earliest he can be a free agent?

    • BaddW 3 years ago

      He needs to have 9 years of service time as NPB first team player.

      If not, he needs to be posted like the usual thing.

      • FS54 3 years ago

        WOW no way, I would sign a deal with NPB team when I dream of playing in big leagues. NPB teams will likely pay much more than any MLB team but he will spend at least 4-5 in NPB and then he will be posted for MLB. At that point, MLb teams will be required to do that blind bidding, etc. It is better if he signs with MLB team and starts his development process for big leagues asap.

  3. Hal_Jordan77 3 years ago

    Otani was not taken with the first overall pick(and the Twitter link doesn’t say he was either so it isn’t wrong just this article. The Ham Fighters actually had the 12th pick, but that doesn’t matter in the first round of the NPB draft. They all make their first picks at the same time, and if the same player is picked by multiple teams they use a lottery to determine who gets him. Fujinami was actually picked by more teams than Otani was.

    • BaddW 3 years ago

      You’re right. Only one team select Otani. Four teams all picked Fujinami.

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      Wow that is quite a process.

  4. Ricky Martin 3 years ago

    Why would they waste there 1st pick on someone who has made it clear he is coming to the mlb???

    • BaddW 3 years ago

      They did it last year too with another player who won’t sign with them.

      I’m just going to quote what their GM said.

      “It is Otani. I am planning to select the best player available. Otani commented that he wanted to play for an MLB team, but our
      plan is to select the best player. We plan to select Otani. We
      understand that Otani has strong feelings for the majors. Even if
      we do get rights to negotiate with him, I am not confident we can sign
      him. However, we will not step down.”

  5. goner 3 years ago

    If I’m Otani, the only way I sign with the Nippon Ham Fighters is if they offer a lot of money, and then officially change the team’s name to “The Ham Fighters of Nippon Ham”

  6. safari_punch 3 years ago

    Neither one of these player are going to MLB. NPB owns them.

    • safari_punch 3 years ago

      You can vote it down all you want, but you near-sited ninnies are clueless to how the NPB/MLB deal works.

  7. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    Let NPB kick dirt all they want. All the kid has to do is shut off negotiations and wait until March and he is MLB bound. They are not entitled to him just because he is Japanese.

  8. SierraM363 3 years ago

    Time for Ben to spend some of the cash and get this promising young pitcher to Boston.

  9. start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    They are not the Ham Fighters. They are the Fighters and they are owned by Nippon Ham.

  10. goner 3 years ago

    True, but a guy can still dream of wearing official “Ham Fighters” merchandise 😀

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