MLB hopes for new Japan posting deal by early December

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Major League Baseball hopes to reach a new agreement on a posting system with Japan by early December, a deal that would allow star pitcher-outfielder Shohei Otani to start negotiations with big league teams.

MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said Wednesday a new framework has been agreed to with Nippon Professional Baseball and that a deal with the Major League Baseball Players Association could happen ”maybe within a week.” After that, MLB owners would hold a conference call for an approval vote.

Otani, a 23-year-old with the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters, would be restricted to a minor league contract with a maximum signing bonus of $3,535,000, with each team having different amounts to spend.

Halem also hopes to have a separate deal with the players’ association by mid-January on pace-of-play changes such as a pitch clock, limits on mound visits and split screens to allow commercials on broadcasts as half-innings start.

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