As expected, Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball agreed to a new posting system for Japanese teams that want to make their players available to MLB teams. This is a three-year agreement.
In the past, MLB teams had to submit a posting fee to the Japanese team. The highest bid would retain the rights to negotiate with that player. But now, teams can submit up to a $20 million fee and the player can negotiate with any of the teams that submit the fee. The NPB team would then receive the $20 million from the team that actually signs the player.
“We are pleased to have amicably reached an agreement that addresses various issues raised by all parties,” said Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer. “Major League Baseball values its longstanding professional relationship with Nippon Professional Baseball, and we look forward to continuing the growth of the great game we share in the years to come.”
Basically this is really good the player, pretty good for MLB teams and not so good for the MLB teams.
The policy change had been rumored for a few weeks. And now it’s likely that the Rakuten Golden Eagles may hesitate to post Masahiro Tanaka – the top pitcher in the NPB – because of the changes, opting to keep him for one more season.
If Tanaka does get posted, it seems highly likely the Mariners will enter the fray. But they won’t be alone. Several teams, including the Yankees, will also be in the mix for him.
Here are the changes as released by MLB …
- If an NPB Club wishes to make one of its players available to Major League Clubs, the NPB shall notify the Office of the Commissioner of the NPB player’s potential availability and the “release fee” that a Major League Club must pay to the NPB Club in order to secure the NPB player’s release. The NPB Club may not set the release fee at an amount higher than $20 million and the fee cannot be changed once it has been set by the NPB Club.
- The Office of the Commissioner shall then “post” the NPB player’s availability by notifying all Major League Clubs of the NPB player’s availability and the release fee sought by the NPB Club.
- All “postings” of NPB players must be made between November 1st and February 1st.
- Beginning the day after the player is posted, and concluding 30 days later, any Major League Club willing to pay the release fee set by the NPB Club may then negotiate with the player in an attempt to reach an agreement on a contract.
- If a Major League Club is able to reach an agreement on a contract with the posted NPB player, the Major League Club must pay the NPB Club the designated release fee, which will occur in installments, the timing of which depends on the size of the release fee.
- If the posted NPB player fails to reach an agreement with a Major League Club, the release fee is not owed, the NPB player remains under reserve to his NPB Club, and the player may not be posted again until the following November 1st.
- The term of the new posting agreement is three years, continuing from year-to-year thereafter until either the Office of the Commissioner or the NPB gives notice of its intent to terminate the agreement one hundred and eighty days prior to the anniversary of the commencement of the agreement.