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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 18, 2017)
SPORTS / U.S.A.
Page 8 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
September 18, 2017
Otani likely to sign with MLB in costly move
COMPETITION VS. COMPENSATION. Japanese baseball
player Shohei Otani of the Nippon Ham Fighters dashes to first base after
hitting a grounder in the first inning of a game against the Orix BlueWave
in Osaka, western Japan, in this April 8, 2017 file photo. Otani is expected
to move to Major League Baseball in 2018. (Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo
News via AP, File)
By Jim Armstrong
The Associated Press
OKYO — Shohei Otani is likely to leave Japan and
sign with a Major League Baseball (MLB) team
after this season, multiple reports in Japanese
media say, a move that would cost the 23-year-old pitcher
and outfielder more than $100 million.
In his fifth season with the Nippon Ham Fighters, the
reigning Pacific League MVP is prized as both a pitcher
and hitter. But under restrictions in MLB’s new collective
bargaining agreement, his signing bonus would be limited
to about $3 million to $4 million, a fraction of the
$155-million, seven-year deal that pitcher Masahiro
Tanaka received from the New York Yankees before the
2014 season. Otani would have to wait until after the 2019
season to receive a comparable deal in MLB.
“I think he wants to compete against the best, and I
think that’s great,” New York Yankees manager Joe
Girardi said. “I think that’s what’s in every competitor’s
heart. They want to match up against the best to see how
Under the MLB labor contract agreed to last November,
Otani is defined as an international amateur because he is
not 25 years old and does not have six years of service in
any professional leagues. Because of that, he must sign a
minor league contract to enter MLB, an amount subject to
a team’s signing bonus pool.
MLB teams are prohibited from circumventing the
restrictions, such as with an unannounced agreement for
future seasons, and would receive harsh punishment if
caught by the commissioner’s office. Because of that,
Otani has economic incentive to wait two years before
leaving for MLB. He would then be considered a
If Otani is made available under the posting system
agreement between MLB and the Nippon Professional
Baseball, the maximum a team could bid is $20 million,
and if the $20 million is accepted, all teams bidding that
amount would be eligible to sign him.
In the signing period that began July 2, 12 teams are
prohibited from giving signing bonuses of more than
$300,000 as penalties for exceeding their bonus pools
under the previous labor deal: Atlanta, the Chicago Cubs
and White Sox, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, the Los
Angeles Dodgers, Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego, San
Francisco, and Washington.
No strangers to displacement,
Vietnamese recover from Harvey
Analysis confirms grass carp
eggs in Lake Erie tributary
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Scientists say they’ve
confirmed the discovery of grass carp eggs in a tributary of
Grass carp are among four species of Asian carp that
pose a threat to the Great Lakes. The most feared are
silver and bighead carp, which eat plankton and could
destabilize food chains. But grass carp are also a problem
because they eat huge amounts of valuable plants.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission says state,
federal, and university scientists analyzed eggs collected
from the Sandusky River in Ohio earlier this summer.
They’ve now concluded they were grass carp eggs.
The commission says the number of grass carp in the
area is “extremely low,” which offers a chance to prevent
the invasive fish from gaining a foothold.
By Janie Har and Gregory Bull
The Associated Press
OUSTON — As Hurricane
Harvey’s floodwater rose
quickly above cabinets,
counters, and toward the ceiling, Viet
Dao scrambled to figure out how he
would save his young children, wife,
and in-laws if the water wouldn’t
stop. What if he couldn’t rescue them
“It hits you right there: We have
nowhere to escape,” Dao, 48, said by
phone. “If it was just me, it’s OK, I can
survive. But I just don’t know how
can I help my children and family get
out. It’s really frustrating.”
Decades ago, it was Dao’s parents
who were trying to get him out of
harm’s way by sending him away
from Vietnam on a crowded fishing
boat when he was 18 years old so he
could make a better life for himself in
America. The two situations are
incomparable, but Dao says he now
better understands the desperation
of wanting to protect family.
Some of the more than 110,000
Vietnamese in the Houston area are
among the tens of thousands of people
whose homes were damaged or
destroyed by Harvey. They share a
common heritage in the United
States that stems from leaving a
homeland and starting anew.
Houston, an official resettlement
site for refugees after the Vietnam
War, is home to the largest concentra-
tion of Vietnamese Americans out-
side of California. The population in-
cludes recent newcomers whose lim-
ited English is dotted with “ma’am,”
and those who came decades ago after
a city then called Saigon fell to the
North Vietnamese in 1975.
Like the rest of the region, they
have been shovelling debris from
ruined homes, mopping up wet floors,
and pitching in however they can to
help with recovery efforts from the
devastating storm that killed more
than 70 people after landing on the
Teams start with a signing bonus pool of $4.75 million to
$5.75 million and can trade allocations and acquire them
in amounts totalling up to 75 percent above their original
figure. Many already have spent significant amounts on
Latin American amateurs.
Only eight clubs as of now have the ability to give a
signing bonus of more than $1 million through next June:
Texas ($3,535,000), the New York Yankees ($3.25 mil-
lion), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Minnesota ($1,895,000),
Arizona ($1,867,500), Miami ($1.74 million), Detroit
($1,072,000), and Seattle ($1,057,500).
If added to an active big-league roster, Otani would
receive a 2018 salary at or just above the major-league
minimum of $545,000. He would not be eligible for salary
arbitration until after the 2020 season and for free agency
until after the 2023 season. Any long-term contract later
agreed to would be scrutinized by MLB.
Otani has a 39-15 record with a 2.60 ERA and 601
strikeouts in 522 1/3 innings, and a .286 batting average
with 47 homers and 163 RBIs. He has been limited to 51
games this season by thigh and ankle injuries, and he has
pitched just twice for the Ham Fighters this season.
“He’s definitely intriguing,” Girardi said. “Could a guy
pitch and DH some? I think it’s possible, I do. I think you’d
be concerned a little bit maybe the day before his start, but
it does create a unique situation where if he’s able to DH, it
kind of opens up another spot on your roster. So to me,
times if you needed to go to a six-man rotation, it becomes
a lot easier with the spot open.”
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.
DISPLACED AGAIN. Viet Dao walks through debris in the foyer of his home in Spring, Texas.
As Hurricane Harvey’s flood water rose quickly above cabinets, counters, and toward the ceiling, he
scrambled to figure out how he would save his young children, wife, and in-laws if the water would
not stop. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Gulf Coast of Texas on August 25 as a founded by a couple who landed in
Category 4 hurricane.
Houston with seven children in 1980.
The Lien Hoa Buddhist temple in Among them was Tina La, now 43,
Houston bustled with dozens of who says she is proud to give back to
upbeat adults and teenagers who the city that took in her family.
unloaded crates of bottled water and
“I’ve been here all my life and if it
filled a table with plastic supply bags weren’t for any of these people we
to send to needy families. The teens wouldn’t be where we are,” she said.
cracked jokes. The elders finished
Experts say the numbers of Viet-
lunch. Everyone worked.
namese ramped up in the Houston
People came by to pick up donated area after early refugees gained U.S.
cleaning supplies and to seek help citizenship and sponsored family
from English-speaking volunteers, members to live in America. They
said manager Lang Bui. Chau Ho, for opened restaurants and other busi-
example, was helping 48-year-old nesses catering to the community. By
Lisa Nguyen file for unemployment 2000, they numbered about 60,000 in
after her nail shop in the town of the area.
Refugio flooded and lost electricity.
Today, growing numbers of South
“She doesn’t know. She doesn’t Asians and Chinese are moving to
know what she’ll do,” said Ho, 35, of Houston for jobs in mathematics and
science, but Vietnamese remains the
A popular local chain of restau- third most-spoken language in Texas,
rants, Kim Son, reopened its down- said state demographer Lloyd Potter.
town location after minor damage, It is a far distant third after English
offering free buffet meals to first and Spanish.
responders. It delivered egg rolls,
Jannette Diep is executive director
crab puffs, and broccoli chicken to of Houston’s chapter of Boat People
hundreds of evacuees and police SOS, an organization founded in the
1980s to rescue refugees escaping
The restaurant, which serves Vietnam. A refugee herself, she fled
Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, was
Continued on page 9
Instructions: Fill in the grid so that the digits 1
through 9 appear one time each in every row, col-
umn, and 3x3 box.
Puzzle #75439 (Medium)
All solutions available at