Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Posting Fee Could End Yankees' Tanaka Dream

It appears that Major League Baseball and the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) have come to an agreement on the a modified posting process. The new agreement reportedly includes a posting fee ceiling of $20MM.

A maximum amount would change the entire dynamic of the posting system, which currently only allows the team with the highest bid on a player to negotiate a US contract. In 2006, for example, the Boston Red Sox bid over $51MM to get exclusive rights to pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

With the new posting fee, a player such as Masahiro Tanaka could conceivably negotiate with multiple teams. If four teams bid the maximum posting fee of $20MM, Tanaka would get to negotiate with all four teams. In this respect, Tanaka's status would only be slightly different than that of a Major League free agent, who can negotiate with an unlimited amount of teams.

As for the MLB teams, every team might as well bid the max since only the team that signs Tanaka or whichever player it is, will have to pay a fee.

Not everyone is happy with the new agreement, specifically the owners of the Nippon franchises. Peter Gammons earlier tweeted that Tanaka's team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, may never post their star right-hander due to the lack of money to be made off of him.

CBS Sports' Matt Snyder also reported that there could be another stipulation that works as a tie-breaker. If multiple teams bid the same amount for the right to negotiate, the team with the lowest winning percentage the prior year would win exclusive negotiating rights.

Neither situation seem ideal. I understand MLB's desire to limit the fees they send to Japan, but putting a cap on the amount is opening the floor to all 30 teams. Why not just let Tanaka negotiate with every team and then pay a percentage of the total contract to the Japanese. The fee amount could be a sliding scale based on the amount of money the player is set to earn.

I also understand the NPB's desire to not lose their top players to American baseball. However, in this regard, they are no better than Cuba in restricting their resident's freedoms.

1 comment:

  1. "...Why not just let Tanaka negotiate with every team and then pay a percentage of the total contract to the Japanese..."

    I agree with this. It's an excellent alternative, in that each MLB team get's a crack at Tanaka, and the Japenese team get's fair amount of money back.