Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and Samurai Japan 2 way (pitcher and slugger) superstar Shohei Otani “intends” to play the 2018 season in USA Major League Baseball (MLB) and for this purpose he hired an agent: Nezi Balelo of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Dylan Hernandez reported about this on The Los Angeles Times, citing multiple people familiar with the situation.

Balelo is no stranger to international baseball. He played professional in the USA in the Seattle Mariners farm system (Double A the highest level) and then moved to the Italian Baseball League, where he performed as the everyday shortstop for Novara and posted record numbers across the 1989 and 1990 seasons.

Before Balelo can start negotiating a contract for Otani, MLB, MLBPA (their players association) and NPB must agree to a new posting system for players who want to move from NPB to MLB.

Shohei Otani has played in international baseball since his teen years. He starred at the 2012 U-18 World Cup and made the All World Team at the Premier12 2015.