clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will Tazawa signing affect future relations?

There was an unwritten rule before now that Japanese and American professional clubs would not sign amateurs from the other country. That rule has now been broken as 22-year-old Junichi Tazawa has accepted a 3-year, $6-million offer from the Red Sox.

Does this open the door for NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) to the American amateur market?

What if David Price said he didn't want to be drafted by a MLB team, preferring instead to play for an Independent League, in order to get more money from an NPB team? Could you really blame him for doing so? Why settle for a measly $8.5 million over six years (that he got from Tampa) when he could've easily gotten more from a Japanese team (or the Yankees for that matter) as a free agent?

In a perfect world, there wouldn't be a draft. We don't have drafts in our careers. Imagine going to college and majoring in journalism, then you have to enter a draft where any media outlet in the country could pick you and you basically have no choice but to work for them. Not fair at all from a player's perspective. It's obviously intended for the good of the league/sport as a whole, but is that worth taking away the freedom of choice from amateurs? Should a player be forced to live somewhere he doesn't want for years when, if he had any other job, he could choose where he worked?

Anyway, that's really beside the point. The main idea question here is: are we willing to watch our best amateurs bypass the draft to play in other countries? Will it actually happen? How will we and MLB respond if it does?

We know if the Yankees did this and broke a decades old rule, fans (especially those up north) would be breaking out the old 'Evil Empire' routine as just another example of Yankee hegemony and carelessness toward the whole of MLB.