Baseball - Baseball: Race to grab 'Japan's Babe Ruth' is on

Japan's Shohei Ohtani follows a double in the seventh inning during the international friendly baseball match between Japan and the Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome on November 13, 2016. (AFP Photo/KAZUHIRO NOGI)

- The race to bring Shohei Ohtani to Major League Baseball is officially on after MLB owners ratified the new posting system for Japanese players on Friday. Ohtani, the 23-year-old Nippon Ham Fighters star dubbed the "Babe Ruth of Japan" is regarded as one of the hottest properties in baseball -- a two-way threat with a fastball clocked at 100 mph (160.93 Km/h) and an explosive presence at the plate. He has an array of interested suitors in Major League Baseball, but his move to America was on hold as a new posting system, by which Japanese clubs are compensated for the stars they lose to the States, was hammered out. Now that he can be formally posted -- with a release fee of $20 million, Ohtani has three weeks, until December 22 -- to sign with a major league club.

AFP