MLB Baseball

Japanese two-way star could play in majors next year

Japanese baseball player Shohei Otani delivers his speech during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on November 11, 2017. Baseball superstar Otani voiced in the press conference his wish to continue playing both on the mound and at the plate in the US, saying he has not given up either pitching or batting. / AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS / STR / Japan OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- The Major League Baseball Players' Association announced Monday that it agreed to a 24-hour extension for a new posting agreement to be reached between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball.

The agreement extends the deadline until Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST.

If the sides reach an agreement, Shohei Ohtani would be eligible to be posted and play in the major leagues next season.

Ohtani, 23, is a two-way star who is regarded as the Babe Ruth of Japan.

Ohtani was limited by an ankle injury in 2017, but in 2016 he was 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched. He also had 382 plate appearances and hit .322 with 22 home runs and a 1.004 OPS.

Ohtani wants to play in North America next season and his Japanese club, the Nippon Ham Fighters, has long agreed they would post him so that he can negotiate with major league teams. If he chose to wait two more years, he could be offered a multiyear mega contract.

Major league teams can only offer Ohtani what is in their international bonus pool -- the Texas Rangers reportedly have the most at $3.535 million and the Cleveland Indians have the least at $10,000.

The New York Yankees, who are expected to be among his top suitors, made a trade with the Miami Marlins on Monday to acquire more international bonus money. They reportedly obtained $250,000 from the Marlins, giving them $3.5 million.

Updated November 20, 2017

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