In recent days, talks have accelerated between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball about a posting system. Several teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers are waiting with bated breath whether or not Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka will be posted during the off-season.
The pitching market has seen a few Tier B and C players sign, but the biggest domino yet to fall is Tanaka. He’s viewed by many as the best pitcher in the free agent class and according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, things are still up in the air:
Business week closes without formalized posting agreement between MLB and NPB.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 6, 2013
Under the proposed system, teams can submit a max bid of $20 million with the player able to choose which team he wants to negotiate among those that submit max bids. The previous system allowed teams to submit anonymous bids with the highest bidder awarded the rights to talk to the player exclusively.
There was talk that if multiple teams submitted max bids, the team with the lowest winning percentage the previous year would be awarded negotiating right. However, under the proposed system, the contract Tanaka or any other player would count towards the luxury tax, something most MLB teams try and avoid paying.
Teams including the Dodgers, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs continue to monitor the situation with the rest of the Tier A pitchers waiting to see their markets develop. Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana isn’t too thrilled about the max bid, as the Eagles were the only team in the NPB to vote against the proposed system.
Tachibana is reportedly threatening not to post Tanaka, but many believe that in the end the 25-year-old sensation will be posted. Hopefully a resolution will happen before or during the winter meetings as it’s sure to be quite the bidding war Tanaka is posted.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Brian Wilson agreed to a one-year deal yesterday