Japanese officials of the Nippon Professional Baseball league and Major League Baseball have been working on a new posting agreement in New York for the past week. The two sides have been working on a deal all off-season and may finally be on the same page.
According to David Walstein of the New York Times, the negotiations have reached a point where a deal is inevitable:
MLB & Japan baseball execs have narrowed negotiations to 3 possible outcomes for new posting system. 1 of them is expected to be agreed upon
— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) December 2, 2013
The terms of the agreements haven’t been released but the deal should help free agency pick up, as many teams and free agents are awaiting the Tanaka posting.
The Dodgers have been rumored to be one of the teams most interested in the right-hander. Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 28 starts for the Rakuten Eagles of the NPB. The 25-year-old is expected to have at least half a dozen teams interested in his services.
The bid for Tanaka is projected to break Yu Darvish’s record of $51.7 million from 2011. Analysts have estimated anywhere from $60-75 million for the winning bid to be able to sign Tanaka and he would join Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez as the top starting pitchers available.
Last off-season, the Dodgers went through a bidding war for Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and came away with the left-hander after a $25.7 million bid. The team has been known for investing in foreign talent and management has made it even more of a priority with the signings of Ryu and Cuban players Yasiel Puig and Alex Guerrero.
If an agreement is reached, look for Tanaka to be posted by the end of the year.
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