One of the Dodgers off-season targets, Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is expected to be posted by his team on November 1, but not before major league baseball and NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) come to a new agreement about the posting system.
In the current system, the Japanese team posts a player and major league teams submit a confidential bid for the chance to negotiate with the player. The winning team then has 30 days to come to an agreement or else the player stays in Japan. However, there had been talk about radical changes to the system, but according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, it won’t be as bad as previously thought:
There had been speculation the system would undergo radical changes, with perhaps even the teams with the three highest posting bids all gaining the rights to negotiate with the players. I have been told there will be alterations in the process, but still only one team will win the post and have exclusive negotiating rights. It is possible, as a way to give the player more power to chose his destination, he might get to pick a singular team from, say, the top two or three bidders.
Tanaka is going to generate a lot of interest as the Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees have already expressed a strong desire to sign the soon-to-be 25-year-old from Japan. Last night, Tanaka tossed a complete game, striking out 12 and improved his incredible record to 26-0 on the season in Game 2 of the Japan Series.
Signing Tanaka is a huge benefit for a team since he wouldn’t count towards payroll, which means it wouldn’t affect the luxury tax. Tanaka would join Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish as pitchers posted recently out of Japan, with Darvish’s team getting a $51.7 million posting fee prior to the 2012 season.
Many scouts believe that Tanaka is close to being on Darvish’s level and it’s looking like he’ll be posted soon and will draw the attention of several teams needing starting pitching.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!