A new posting system has been agreed upon between MLB and NPB and now there is a $20 million bidding limit. This means that Japanese teams hoping to make millions of dollars off their players will now have to settle for far less going forward. Yu Darvish required a posting fee north of $50 million and Masahiro Tanaka looked like he would command something around $60 million.
Cutting that down could stop Japanese teams from posting their best players because it might not be worth losing him. The Golden Eagles are considering just that as team president Yozo Tachibana is planning to speak to the team's investors before any decision is made on whether or not Tanaka will be posted.
"We have an obligation to explain to our stakeholders whether it's fair," Tachibana reportedly told Sponichi. He added that if Rakuten shareholders do not think the proposed rules are fair, "There's a possibility we won't take the next step," Tachibana said.
It was expected that the star 25-year-old pitcher would definitely be posted in 2014, but now that eventuality is in doubt. The Eagles have been putting together a contract for Tanaka in case a new agreement could not be reached, so it's entirely possible that they could sign him for multiple years. If that happens, Tanaka might not even be posted next year either. With no big payment headed their way, the Golden Eagles might decide that it's just not worth it to post their pitcher at all and that could become the norm for most teams going forward.
If the Yankees can't bid on Tanaka, they might have to turn to Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm, and Scott Feldman. They could also look for a trade. Still, the Yankees need Tanaka, so they'll probably wait to sign other pitchers until after a decision is made.