BOSTON -- It could be weeks -- or even months -- before a resolution is reached, but, according to a baseball source, the Red Sox are one of the most interested teams in pursuit of Japanese phenom Shohei Otani, an 18-year old high school pitcher.
Otani has made it clear that he wishes to pitch in Major League Baseball.
"It's been my dream to play in the majors since I started school,'' Otani told a news agency recently. "I want to play over there as early as possible. I will learn the hard way. I understand the risks. It's not about the money. It's about following my dream."
Otani has been compared to Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers, with a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s.
The Japanese amateur draft is later this week and though Otani has signaled his intention to pitch in North America, it's possible he could still be drafted by a team in Nippon Professional Baseball, which would complicate his availability to an MLB team.
Other clubs said to have interest in Otani include the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Rangers.
Hanley Ramirez is out of the Red Sox starting lineup as they open a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Ramirez is day-to-day after he hurt his right side on a swing and miss on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays and left that game in the eighth inning.
Travis Wright moves to first place in place of Ramirez and Marco Hernandez will play third. Brock Holt returns from the disabled list and will play left field.
Steven Wright (8-5, 2.18 ERA) looks to bounce back from a loss in Texas in his last start. Jhoulys Chacin (3-6, 5.64) starts for the Angels.
Kole Calhoun RF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 3B
Daniel Nava LF
C.J. Cron 1B
Johnny Giovotella 2B
Carlos Perez C
Andrelton Simmons SS
Jhoulys Chacin RHP
Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt LF
Travis Shaw 1B
Christian Vazquez C
Marco Hernandez 3B
Steven Wright RHP
After being out with a concussion since May 20, Brock Holt has been activated by the Red Sox and will start in left field in the opener of the three-game series with the Angels.
Infielder Mike Miller was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Holt on the roster.
Holt was hitting .239 with three homers and 19 RBI before he was injured. He hit .320 (8-for-25) in an eight-game rehab stint for the PawSox.