The Texas Rangers’ pursuit of Shohei Ohtani will remain on hold until early December, when Major League Baseball hopes to have finalized a new posting system with Nippon Professional Baseball.
Dan Halem, MLB’s Chief Legal Officer, said on Wednesday at the general managers meetings that an agreement has been reached between the two leagues but it’s awaiting approval from the MLB Players Association and from the club owners.
With multiple parties needing to approve and with Thanksgiving around the corner next week, Halem is hopeful that the new agreement will be in place before the winter meetings Dec. 10-14.
The previous system expired Nov. 1.
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“We started negotiating with the NPB on a new protocol agreement in April,” Halem said. “Right now, we’re in a stand-still period. We agreed with our players association and the NPB that there would be no player transfers until we have a new protocol agreement.”
Halem hopes to have everything ironed out with the MLBPA within a week. Owners would be forced to vote via conference call.
The Rangers are among the favorites to land Ohtani, the two-way star from Japan. He would be a pitcher for the Rangers, who need to fill three holes in the starting rotation.
GM Jon Daniels has said multiple times this off-season that the uncertainty regarding Ohtani will not hold up any of the Rangers’ off-season plans.