Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Shohei Otani selects Nez Balelo as agent

Kyodo

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters star Shohei Otani, who is expected to move to the majors this offseason through the posting system, has chosen Nez Balelo as his agent, a source said Tuesday.

Balelo has also represented outfielder Norichika Aoki, who has played for seven big league clubs and pitcher Junichi Tazawa of the Miami Marlins.

Otani went through the process of selecting his agent together with his lawyer, according to the source.

The Fighters told the 23-year-old right-hander during contract renewal negotiations last December that they are willing to approve the use of the system for him to move to the big leagues.

“There is no change,” a senior team official said Tuesday of Nippon Ham’s position concerning Otani’s move. “For today, it’s just that his agent was decided.”

The posting system allows NPB players, who do not have the requisite nine years of professional experience to gain international free agency, to be put up for bidding by MLB teams.