All of the Major League Baseball (MLB) teams will interested in signing pitcher Shohei Otani, a top prospect from the Japanese league, according to MLB rumors this week. One general manager even claimed that the Japanese pitcher cited that Otani will be the top pitcher in the market if his Japanese team allows him to move to the American pro league.
“[Otani would] be by far the best pitcher on the market,” An unnamed MLB GM stated via MLB.com about the 22-year-old prospect who plays for the Nippon Ham Fighters in the Japanese pro league.
Otani has registered 1.86 ERA, 11.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 140 innings in leading his team to the Japan Series title, as noted by mlbtraderumors.com. The young Japanese is a complete player with a reliable offense, hitting .322/.416/.558 with 22 home runs.
“Sign me up. I think every one of the 30 teams would be in the mix,” the GM reportedly added.
However, Otani is not eligible yet to move to the MLB unless his Japanese team allows him to. He will only be acquired by an MLB team if the MLB squad is willing to pay $20M for the league transfer, as noted by the same report.
Though just 22, Otani is already an experienced pro making his debut for his Japanese club when he was 18 years old. Otani recorded the fastest pitch by a pitcher in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Pacific League at 165 kilometres per hour (102.5 mph).