​It's actually happening!

​The legend of 23-year-old Japanese phenom Shohei Otani continues to grow with each massive home run he hits and ​every filthy fastball he whips over the plate. Already a three-time All-Star in Japan's Nippon Pacific League, Otani has quickly proven that he is worth every bit of the hype that he has received over his young and budding career.

​The question that was left on the table, however, is if Otani would make the switch to Major League Baseball next season, leaving millions on the table to sign and forgoing his potentially record-breaking signing eligibility as a true free agent.

​​Well, yes he will.


The news broke overnight about Otani's gutsy and admirable decision to dismiss what could be an unforeseen signing bonus on the international level. Instead, Otani could possibly start somewhere near the league minimum. 

This changes everything. Teams like the Cubs and Dodgers that were significantly restricted by their international bonus pools before this decision? Very much in the race now.


Those two squads will be limited to just $300,000 offer ceilings, but for Otani, a man who nearly signed with the Dodgers out of high school at 18, won't be factoring money into his call at all.


It's simply Otani wanting to come to the big leagues so badly that he'd go anywhere he ultimately chooses at whatever price they can offer.

​​Dubbed "The Japanese Babe Ruth" for his abilities both at the plate and on the mound, most experts predict Otani will be serve as a player that this generation of baseball fans simply haven't seen before.

​Otani's free agency will be one of the most exciting and unpredictable sweepstakes that the league has ever seen, and as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports points out, this situation is unique in the sense that salary cap and spending ability will not play a major factor.

​​It's an exciting time to be a baseball fan. Welcome to the bigs, Shohei Otani!