Shohei Otani is expected to be posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters and play in Major League Baseball in 2018, according to multiple reports.

Otani said previously that he could move to MLB after the 2017 season. He signed a one-year, $2.37 million deal with the Fighters in December.

The 23-year-old right-hander, who has also shown promise as a hitter, will not become eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. He needs the Fighters' approval to negotiate with a major league club through the posting system before that time.