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Posted: 2017-12-07 18:48

Since the new rules regarding international players were announced, the question surrounding Otani has been some derivation of: How is he going to skirt them? Officials at MLB insist any effort to subvert the spirit of the rule will not be allowed. Would the league, for example, attempt to cancel a nine-figure contract extension for Otani if he stars in his first season? One official said precedent will matter, and any contract that doesn’t have a forebear will be considered a violation. Might a team attempt to negotiate an under-the-table deal to make whole Otani as well as the Fighters? It could, though MLB believes the possibility of being caught and sanctioned will scare teams straight.

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Every team in the league is going to want Otani, and they all must be thinking of ways to skirt baseball’s dumb rule. The obvious option is for teams to give Otani a handshake promise that they will sign him to a massive contract extension after he plays out his first season on a measly deal. A plan like this would certainly present some risk for Otani—what if he suffers a massive injury in his first season and the team backs out of its promise?—but it’s better than him earning peanuts while waiting three years to enter arbitration. Unfortunately, MLB seems poised to block such a workaround, as Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports:

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In the end, the league’s stodginess on the issue might not matter. I’m not sure the commissioner’s office would have much success trying to void a second-year contract extension for Otani, given that many star players, like   Andrew McCutchen and Madison Bumgarner, have chosen to sign pre-arbitration extensions early in their careers. If a team decides that Otani is worth that kind of investment, how is the league going to tell them no?

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At any rate, the Mustang, while more expensive, totally has the Scirocco outclassed in terms of power and driving dynamics and has since gone on to become the best-selling sports car in Europe. Even Volkswagen’s own GTI and Golf R make for more practical and modern propositions. Considering the competition it now faces, and the general global market shift toward crossovers and SUVs, it’s easy to see why the Scirocco died and hard to see why VW would want to put any effort into replacing it.


Volkswagen’s German site and various media outlets confirmed the hatchback’s death this week, saying that prospective buyers in the markets where the Scirocco is sold cannot order new ones, but can only buy the current supply. As Volkswagen deals with the massive costs of its diesel emissions cheating scandal, and retools to focus on electric vehicles and giant SUVs that Americans might actually buy, no Scirocco replacement is in sight—or likely to happen at all.

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The league’s new CBA makes it impossible for any international free agent under the age of 75 (Otani is 78) to enjoy the fruits of baseball’s free market. Teams are given a hard cap on how much bonus money they are allowed to pay players in this category, and so the most any team would be able to throw at Otani this offseason is about $65 million. This is is unbelievably silly, given that Otani would easily command a contract upwards of $655 million if he were treated like a normal free agent.

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The Packers’ quarterback situation is suddenly very dire. Aaron Rodgers is likely out for the season with a broken collarbone, and the team now has to start Brett Hundley, a former fifth-round pick with 99 career NFL pass attempts. Perhaps even more worrying is the fact that behind Hundley is Joe Callahan, a former Division-III quarterback who has yet to set foot on an NFL field. It’s not exactly surprising, then, that Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was asked about potentially signing Colin Kaepernick during a press conference yesterday.