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.