Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani is now available to Major League Baseball teams

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Ohtani with the sick Phillies burn

That opened a window for the 23-year-old to reach agreement on a contract with an Major League Baseball team until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 22.

Shohei Ohtani is available for bidding for all 30 Major League Baseball teams and is said to be open to joining any team.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, those meetings with the potential star could begin "as soon as next week".

The Cubs reportedly are among teams that have a high interest in Ohtani.

Some parts of the posting system will be the same as the old one, at least for this year.

Just about every Major League Baseball team will be interested in signing Ohtani. Because Ohtani is not yet 25, and has only five seasons in professional baseball, he is subject to baseball's worldwide bonus-pool system, which limits him to a bonus of no more than $3.55 million from a major league team and a rookie contract at the minimum of $545,000 next season. However, it does not go into effect until November 1, 2018. The fee will be 20 percent of the first $25 million of a major league contract and the percentage drops to 17.5 percent of the next $25 million and 15 percent of any amount over $50 million. The union believes Japanese free agents entering the market late potentially could impact negotiations with major league free agents. The teams with the most to offer include the Rangers ($3,335,000), the Yankees ($3.25 million) and Twins ($3,245,000).

Ohtani was the 2016 Pacific League MVP and was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA this year for the Fighters, limited because of thigh and ankle injuries.

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