Sherman: MLB and NPB close to agreement changing posting system

Friday Night Open Thread
Pirela's strong winter continues in Venezuela

Via Joel Sherman: MLB and NPB are close to finalizing an agreement that will change the posting system. We first heard changes were in the works last month. A single team will still win the player’s negotiating rights, but the player may now be allowed to pick his destination from the top two or three bidders. The system is expected to be in place by November 1st.

The Yankees “are going to be serious players” for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka — they’re reportedly in the mix for the South Korean right-hander Seung-Hwan Oh as well — and he figures to be the first to use the new posting system. The changes are designed to help keep posting fees down and give the player some freedom to pick his new team. Maybe the new system will save New York a few bucks if they manage to land Tanaka, but the posting fee doesn’t count towards the luxury tax anyway. Only the contract will.

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Friday Night Open Thread
Pirela's strong winter continues in Venezuela
  • Preston

    I don’t think this will help the team save money. They may get by with a lower posting fee, but having multiple teams to choose from gives them way more leverage in contract negotiations. I think Tanaka’s AAV will be closer to 15 rather than 10 now.

  • RetroRob

    By allowing several teams in the mix, it will drive up the contract value. Posting fee *may* go down, but contract value seems likely to increase.

  • Rathipon

    It actually creates an incentive for the player to choose a team with the lower posting fee. If player is worth X, Less money goes to his team, more himself.

    • RetroRob

      It seems he can negotiate with all three teams. He can then pick the highest bidder. I was actually thinking the other direction. If the winning bid if $50m and the next highest bid is $20M will the player feel some obligation to his former team to take the higher bid? We don’t know the exact details yet. Perhaps the bid amounts won’t be released until after a deal is concluded, avoiding that pressure on the player.

      • Il Cugino

        I read somewhere that the player can pick the destination but cannot negotiate with any team until he picks. That means he won’t be able negotiate with multiple teams.Dunno though.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          This seems like the case, at least according to the Sherman article.
          Makes me wonder if there would be back-channel negotiating going on prior to the player choosing which team to negotiate with, though.

      • Mikhel

        it seems the player wont know the amounts if the bidding, neither the teams, they’ll be presented with the three options. thats what i heard on the radio, not sure if it is right.

    • Laz

      Depends though if they make the team match the posting. Some players it might not be big deal, but take for example Dice-k Sox paid like $52M? and the the rest of the posts were reported like $30M? Hard for team to lose that much.

  • AndrewYF

    The player probably wont know the values of the bids, just the names. He will then have freedom to choose. It will keep the value down as the team he chooses will still have the sole right to negotiate. It might even keep the contract value low, since the team knows that he chose them over others.

    • Il Cugino

      Yeah, there are factors moving in both directions and we can get different results depending on the player early on in the new process.

  • zs190

    Initial thought was that Yankees might not have to bid as high to win, but spreading more of the money to player rather than posting fee increases luxury tax, seems like a bad thing for the Yankees

  • Caballo Sin Nombre

    The big issue to me is whether there truly is NO back-channel communications between the player and the qualifying teams prior to his selection. It’s hard to see how they can guarantee this won’t happen. If it happens, that will lead to some prior negotiation, even if it isn’t binding.

  • Nathan

    I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

    Good: The Yankees wouldn’t have to be the highest bidder. They haven’t been lately. If a player wants to come to the Yankees, he can choose to do so if they’re in the top three.

    Bad: Player doesn’t want to come to the Yankees, chooses another team.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It gives them more leverage although, if a player try didn’t want to come to the Yankees before, they still could have refused to negotiate. There were no arranged marriages here.

      I like the idea from a player’s perspective. I don’t like it from a “guy who reads comments on blogs” perspective.

      • hogsmog

        I also feel like the Yankees still have more international appeal than other teams in the MLB, which could work in their favor.

        • Farewell Mo

          Players are gonna go where they can get the most money be it NY or somewhere else.

      • Mikhel

        By refusing it meant they wouldn’t be playing in the majors. Now they can still refuse and still capitalize by choosing other team.

  • Endlessjose

    When the Yankees get Tanaka they should also get Suk-Min Yoon’s or another international pitcher and trade him for prospects.Yoon can get a Eddie Rosario prospect and this team needs to find ways to get young players.

  • toad

    Hard for me to believe there will be no back-channel communications before the palyer chooses. I also wonder if there might be some pressure, or even cash, from his Japanese team to pick the MLBteam with the highest bid.

  • Slu

    I am going to look up what the Japanese infielder that the Yankees won the posting for but did not sign did this past year. With what went down with SS and 3B this year, he might have been nice to have.

    • Slu

      Hiroyuki Nakajima, and he was apparently on the A’s AAA team. So not much help there.

  • will

    5 years later, mitchell will come out with a report from the NSA about the yankees “back channel phone calls” during these negotiations.

  • Bill

    This seems like another overly complex and perhaps non-sensical solution to a relative non-issue by MLB.

    The timing also reeks of another Yankee targeted agenda by MLB. The Yankees are clearly targeting Tanaka as a potential solution to working around the luxury tax system. MLB is well aware of that and is now all of sudden negotiating a new posting system that will increase the salary of posted players. You’d think that eventually MLB would give the Yankees credit for actually trying to work within rules that were created against them, but instead it seems they continue to try to build upon them. Hopefully it works out in the Yankees favor, but I don’t like the timing of this at all.

    Also the whole idea of of multiple teams being in the mix and the player choosing opens up opportunities to a lot of shady business and just doesn’t make any sense. From the player’s perspective he’ll want to choose the team that is likely to give him the biggest contract which in all likelihood could be the lowest bidder of the three. Given the large variance in bids that we’ve seen for guys like Darvish and Dice-K this solution seems to not take into account previous large scale bids.

    Finally you have to wonder what the NPB is getting out of this deal. What is MLB offering to get this done?