MLB Pro Bound For 2019 Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2018

MLB Pro Commissioner Office, MLB Pro Players Association and Nippon Professional Baseball Reach Agreement on Shohei Ohtani


MLB Pro has reached a settlement with the MLB Pro Players Association and Nippon Professional Baseball with regards to allowing Shohei Ohtani to join MLB Pro after the 2018 MLB Pro season is completed. All sides have agreed to the following terms:

  1. Shohei Ohtani will play the 2018 season in Japan as part of the NPB, at the conclusion of the 2018 MLB Pro season, Ohtani will be allowed to leave the NPB for MLB Pro.
  2. ALL MLB Pro teams will be eligible to sign Ohtani with the EXCEPTION of the Los Angeles Angels and any team that finishes the 2018 season with a deficit greater than $20 million.
  3. Shohei Ohtani will be credited with a pre-determined amount of service time. There remains ongoing discussion on the amount that will be given. This will be determined PRIOR to Ohtani’s entrance to MLB Pro.
  4. Ohtani’s contract will be predetermined and will be dependent upon the amount of service time given to him.
  5. An extension for Shohei Ohtani is prohibited until he completes his sixth-year of service time.

Process:

  1. After the 2018 Salary Arbitration deadline, teams may submit a posting fee bid [Max bid of: $20 million].
  2. The posting fee bid will:
    1. Come from a team’s CASH
    2. If the bid exceeds the CASH allotment, CASH will be taken first followed by a manual edit of the team’s expenses for the upcoming season.
  3. The highest 10 bids (Top 10 AND ties) will become finalists for the services of Ohtani.
  4. The finalists will be asked to submit a plan for Ohtani within their organization and a list of reasons as to why their organization is the right fit.
    1. An outside panel will be asked to vote on the decision.  Teams will be listed as Team A, Team B,…etc. 
  5. The team awarded Ohtani will pay 100% of their blind bid.
    1. In addition, all other teams who submitted bids, will pay a service fee equal to 35% of their bid.

 


[Note: Ohtani was a popular topic back in the league survey held several months back. Once it was established that many of you wanted to see him come over, the league office began bouncing ideas back and forth on the best method to bring him over. Without the NPB being used in the background (And no, it will not be coming back), the in-game posting system is not an option.

We decided on the off-season following the 2018 season in order to give every team a chance to get their finances in a position to go over Ohtani.

Once Ohtani in real-life decided upon the Angels – citing best fit, rather than taking the most money – we wanted to create a system that would also mimic this in a way. That is why an outside panel will be used to help determine where he goes. So while money will be part of the equation with regards to being a finalist, it in no way guarantees you will get him. In addition, the more the offer, the higher the “service fee” will be owed.

Giving Ohtani service time and a predetermined contract is our way of balancing the fact that a decision will be made out of our hands. Similarly, prohibiting an extension until the short-time between the end of his 6th season ends any opportunity to work around the arbitration system — even with the adopted rules of last season. The team awarded Ohtani will still have him for multiple years as well as a short period of time following his 6th year of service time to offer an extension OR give a qualifying offer to.

While the details of the service time/contract length and amount are still being fine tuned by the league office, you will again be well aware of these details PRIOR to any bidding is allowed. The decision on these two matters will come from the league office when we feel comfortable with them.]