MLB Free Agency Rumors 2017: Boston Red Sox Confirm Interest In Shohei Otani

Koji SasaharaAP Images

The MLB free agency rumors of the 2017 offseason are swirling when it comes to Shohei Otani and interested teams. The Japanese prospect has already made it known he’d like to play in America, but now it’s a matter of which team will end up with his services. Multiple teams have been rumored as potential landing spots, including the American League’s New York Yankees. As of Friday, the Boston Red Sox also made it known they’re interested in acquiring the dual-threat player.

On Friday, Michael Silverman of Boston Herald reported that Boston Red Sox president and CEO Dave Dombrowski confirmed the team’s interest in Otani. This isn’t considered a surprise due to the fact that the Red Sox had scouted the hitting and pitching star previously. While Dombrowski confirmed Boston’s interest in Otani, he also indicated that acknowledging anything beyond that “would be confidential.”

As mentioned, the 23-year-old is not only known for his ability at the plate, but also as a starting pitcher. That has all 30 Major League Baseball teams vying for his services, as he also brings a cheap price tag, at least to start off his MLB career. In order to contend for signing Otani, teams need to answer a questionnaire with just seven questions about why they feel Otani is best for their team. That questionnaire is handed over to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters for consideration.

MLB free agency shohei otani situation heating up
All 30 MLB teams are officially contending for Japanese baseball star Shohei Otani, but a few teams have a better chance at signing him. [Image by AP Images]Featured image credit: Shizuo KambayashiAP Images

For the lucky MLB team that “wins” Shohei Otani’s services, there will be a required payment of $20 million which goes to the Ham Fighters. In addition, there’s an initial signing bonus for Otani. That figure can’t go over a team’s international bonus money.

The main issue for the Boston Red Sox comes with their allotted pool of money which is only $462,500. Fellow American League team the Texas Rangers tops the list with $3.55 million in their pool, while AL East rivals, the New York Yankees have $3.5 million in their pool.

The expectation is that the MLB free agency situation with Shohei Otani will be resolved before December 22, giving one squad a very Merry Christmas and a potentially Happy New Year. Boston Red Sox fans are hoping to be the lucky ones, instead of their rivals, the New York Yankees, though.