Could the Texas Rangers be angling to sign another Japanese super star? The club announced a curious trade Saturday afternoon that sent minor league infielder Yeyson Yrizarri to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for international slot compensation.
Perhaps the Rangers are preparing the cash coffers to make a bid to sign Japan’s two-way phenomenon Shohei Otani this winter.
Otani, 22, is considered a legitimate two-way player in Japan. He’s a starting pitcher who throws in the high 90s and a power hitter who hits home runs. A couple of minor injuries have kept him off the mound so far this season.
Whether Otani will indeed choose to test the MLB waters isn’t known. The league’s altered international bonus system would cap Otani’s bonus at $10.1 million, according to MLB.com.
Yrizarri, 20, was signed by the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2013. He was hitting .258 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 82 games with Low A Hickory and High A Down East this season. MLB.com listed Yrizarri as the club’s No. 17 prospect.