Under the new posting system, the Japanese team will receive a maximum of $20 million for their player, and MLB is intent on making sure it's absolutely no more than that. According to the LA Times, they plan to investigate whether a deal has been made between Masahiro Tanaka and the Rakuten Golden Eagles that would award the team more money than they agreed to receive under the new contract.
During the press conference to announce they would post Tanaka and allow him to come to America, Golden Eagles president Yozo Tachibana claimed the new agreement was unfair and that Tanaka had expressed the desire to make a donation to the team, which would go toward a new dome for their stadium. While the Japanese superstar did not attend the press conference, Tachibana claimed that he wanted to "repay the team that developed me" and "cooperate and donate . . . starting with improving the environment for the players and to make sure it's the kind of stadium that can be loved by [local] fans."
The new system between MLB and NPB does not just allow the Japanese team to make money off their players, but it also prohibits them from making any more than allowed, in any form, whether it be back room payments or some kind of donation. As Ken Rosenthal reports, the new deal between the two leagues allows the commissioner of MLB to void any transactions that infringe on the new rules. If Tanaka were to donate money to Rakuten, MLB would be allowed to review such an action.
They will also be able to police MLB teams from making any kind of agreements under the table to gain an unfair advantage in negotiations. Whether it be a deal that would pay the Japanese team double the release fee to gain favor or the promise of bidding high on another player at a later date, MLB plans to crack down on anything that could infringe upon the agreement. They will also take the idea of illegal kickbacks very seriously, though one source Rosenthal talked to believes such a deal would be "'very inefficient' - Tanaka would be taxed on his major league income in Japan, and Rakuten would be taxed for any revenue he contributed to the club."
I completely understand the idea of preventing MLB teams from making illegal deals behind everyone's back, but does it really matter if Tanaka wants to give away some of his own money? No one gets any unfair advantage from this as a deal has already been made. It seems like it's none of MLB's business where Tanaka ultimately spends his money. If he indeed plans to help with stadium renovations, and MLB says that he can't, it would really prove that NPB has simply become a feeder league to America.
What are your thoughts?