MLB and NPB have been negotiating a deal to set up a new posting process for bringing over Japanese players to America. Usually, posting season starts on November 1, once the Japanese Series has finished, however, the previous agreement expired and nothing can happen yet.
Under the old system, teams would compete in a blind bid for the exclusive rights to negotiate with the player. Rights go to the highest bid and when a deal is reached, the team is paid the bid amount. The deal on the table would alter that process so that everything operates the same way, except the winning team would only pay the average amount between the highest and second-highest bid. Essentially, if Team A bids $50 million and Team B bids $40 million, Team A would only have to pay $45 million. This deal will help MLB teams avoid having to pay a ridiculous overbid if no one else comes close.
It's also being reported that there will be some sort of fine in place in case a team with the winning bid is unable to agree to a contract with the player. This will probably be at least a portion of the bidding price and will prevent teams from bidding high, if only to block other teams from signing the player, like the Yankees did with Hiroyuki Nakajima in 2011.
There was an idea going around that the three highest bids would win the right to negotiate with the player and he could then sign with the team that gives him the best deal. Unfortunately, that is not happening. This system doesn't really change anything in the Yankees' pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka, but if the new deal is accepted, the posting process can finally begin.
The Yankees will still have to be the highest bidder, probably higher than the $50 million the Rangers paid to talk to Yu Darvish, and will still have to sign Tanaka to a competitive deal, likely more than Darvish's six-year, $60 million contract. Once a new deal is in place the fun can then begin.
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