Dodgers reportedly interested in Japanese pitcher Shohei Otani

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The Dodgers reportedly met with the 18-year old phenom in Japan.

Japanese phenom pitcher Shohei Otani has drawn interest from at least four teams, including the Dodgers. The Red Sox, Rangers, and Dodgers have all met with the 18-year old, per Alex Speier of WEEI in Boston.

Here is Otani throwing 99 mph in a high school game this year.

MLB Trade Rumors has more on the 6'4', 190-pound Otani. As noted by Mark Polishuk at MLBTR, "MLB teams wouldn't have to pay a posting fee to sign Otani as he isn't contracted to any Japanese pro team."

But Otani would still be subject to the international signing cap. For the 2012-2013 signing period, which runs from July 2 to June 15, each MLB club is allowed to spend $2.9 million without penalty on all players who are not residents of the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico, with two exceptions per the collective bargaining agreement.

Bonuses don't count for players who were previously under contract to a major or minor league club, nor are "players who are least 23 years of age and have played as a professional in a league recognized by the Commissioner’s Office for a minimum of five seasons."

The limit isn't a hard cap, in that teams are allowed to spend more, but the penalties can be severe. For this signing period, the first penalty, for being up to five percent above the threshold (up to $3.045 million), the penalty is 75% of any overage.

From 5-10% above the $2.9 million limit (from $3.045 million to 3.19 million), the penalty is 75% of any overage, plus the loss of ability to give any one player more than $500,000 during the next signing period.

From 10-15% above ($3.19 million to $3.335 million), the penalty is 100% of the overage, and the loss of ability to sign anyone in the next period for more than $500,000.

From 15% and above (over $3.335 million), the penalty is 100% of the overage, and the loss of ability to sign anyone in the next period for more than $250,000.

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