Otani drafted by the Nippon Ham Fighters

Despite Shohei Otani's announcement that he was going to pursue a career in the United States in Major League Baseball, the 18 year old Japanese righthanded pitcher was drafted by the Nippon Ham Fighters in the NPB draft.

Although this does not mean that Otani has to be posted, like most Japanese professional players do, it does mean that MLB teams cannot negotiate with Otani until March. This gives the Ham Fighters several months to try to convince Otani to stay in Japan, rather than go to the United States.

Otani, described by Baseball America as being a late first round type talent, is someone that the Texas Rangers have shown significant interest in. Should Otani sign by June, 2013, he would be subject to the 2012 J-2 international signing class bonus pool cap. The Rangers have spent very little internationally in 2012, and thus would be in a position to make a significant offer to Otani, should they so desire.

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