Posting System: MLB and NPB reach agreement

Koji Watanabe

An agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball has been reached in order to establish a new posting system. There were multiple reports about what exactly the new deal will be, but reports seem to be coming out that will shed light on what will and what will not be a part of the posting process going forward.

The new system will include a maximum bid of $20 million and if multiple teams bid the max, the player will be able to negotiate with all of them. It means that Masahiro Tanaka will essentially be a free agent for everyone who pays a negotiating fee. Carrying over from the last agreement, the posting fee will still not count against the luxury tax, and only the team that signs him will have to pay the winning bid, everyone else will have their money returned.

The new agreement will not award exclusive negotiating rights to the team with the worst winning percentage in the event of a tie.

It was said that the Golden Eagles were opposed to this new deal, considering they were the ones that were projected to make $50-$60 million for posting their ace. They have since agreed to the terms of the new posting system, making it unanimous among the 12 NPB teams.

Details still need to be ironed out, but it looks like the Yankees will have to compete with just about every team in baseball if they want the best, and youngest, pitcher on the market. Making Tanaka an almost-unrestricted free agent doesn't necessarily mean the Yankees won't get him, but it means they won't get him at a reduced cost. They will have to offer a market, or even over-market, valued contract in order to beat out the Dodgers, Cubs, Mariners, and anyone else with money to spend. Basically, despite their lack of MLB experience, Japanese players will now get contracts like they do. The Yankees still need him, though.

UPDATE:

It's still expected that he will be posted, but we'll see.

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