It seems as if every year there is a high-profiled international import that makes headlines in Major League Baseball, and it's no different this year.
Shohei Otani, an 18-year old high school phenom from Japan, will be a hot commodity this offseason.
Why? Well, he stands 6'4" and throws 100 mph. Oh yeah, and he's a starting pitcher.
Otani realizes that he likely won't begin his career in the United States in the major leagues, but his stuff could quickly propel him throughout every level of the minors.
The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers are three teams known to be in the hunt for Otani (via CBS New York), but there will most definitely be several other teams looking to acquire his talents.
Many teams will likely be interested because there will be no posting fee required to bid on Otani. Because he is strictly a free agent that has yet to play in Japan, he is free to play for whichever team, in whichever league, he chooses.
Otani features a strong fastball that generally sits between 95-100 mph. He also throws a slider and a curveball, both of which have movement.
He is wild on occasion, but that's because he is still a raw talent learning how to pitch.
After the Kei Igawa disaster, the Yankees seemed reluctant to bid big on Yu Darvish. It'll be interesting to see how willing the Yankees are to offer Otani a significant number of the $2.9 million international free agent cap after seeing how well Darvish pitched this season.
The Yankees will most assuredly have competition for the flame-throwing right-hander, but there's no doubting the type of impact that he would have on the organization.
Brian Cashman should pull out all the stops when trying to bring him to New York.
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