Update: NPB likely to accept posting system proposal with max. bid limit

Wednesday Night Open Thread
Update: Yankees agree to one-year deal with Kelly Johnson

Wednesday: According to Sanspo (translated article), NPB is likely to accept the proposal, which includes a maximum bid of only $20M. The player will be allowed to negotiate with every team who submits a max bid, creating almost a true free agency. I’m surprised NPB agreed to such a low max bid amount, and, unsurprisingly, Rakuten was the one team to fight the proposal. They want as much as possible for Tanaka.

Monday: According to multiple reports, MLB’s latest proposal regarding the posting system includes placing a limit on the size of bids. If more than one team places the maximum bid, either the player will choose who to negotiate with or his rights go to the team with the worst record in the previous season, depending on who you ask. Conflicting reports out there about that part.

Jon Morosi says a new posting agreement is not imminent, but the two sides are talking. MLB yanked their previous proposal a few weeks ago because they felt NPB was dragging its feet and slowing down the process. There is no timetable or deadline for an agreement. Nothing like that is in place far as we know. Rakuten Golden Eagles right-hander Masahiro Tanaka can not be posted until a new posting agreement is in place and he is the Yankees’ primary pitching target, reportedly. Not sure how long they can wait around for this to be resolved.

Wednesday Night Open Thread
Update: Yankees agree to one-year deal with Kelly Johnson
  • Farewell Mo

    Going to the team with the worst record, what kind of bullshit is that?

    • Jack P

      sounds like more “competitive balance” shit to me

      • Jack P

        Also will they determine what the maximum bid will be? Will it be a live bidding process? That’s the one way I see this working

    • The Other Mister D

      It’s the “lets be sure to screw NY” kind of bullshit, like the last CBA

      • Pseudoyanks

        Curses! Foiled Again!!

      • I’m One

        Yeah, because the Yankees had a better record than nearly every other team in the league last year, especially the ones with deep pockets, like the Dodgers, the Nationals, the Red Sox … Oh, wait …

        Please people, not everything MLB does is done to hurt the Yankees. Yes, some of it is for “competitve balance”. But that hurts any team that does well, not just the Yankees (and especially not after last season).

        • The Other Mister D

          But the rumors a few weeks back was that some teams were wanting to drag their feet on the new agreement specifically because they knew the Yankees were serious about Tanaka.

    • SDB

      right out of the No child left behind book. FFS.

    • Tisha

      Sounds like the same of crap. These billionaires who chose to run small market teams, while pocketing the revenue sharing and luxury tax checks, want to keep the big market from getting the better international free agents,
      Aren’t most of them already getting a break with the draft year after year , getting their hands on the best prospects ? Now, they want this ? Screw them.

  • CashmanNinja

    It’s total BS. Before it was a blind system where you had to guess what someone was worth to ANOTHER team as well as your own. Now if there’s a limit it’s pretty much offer the max or else you have no shot at him. It’s the most unfair system in place now and absolutely kills a team like the Yankees. The Cubs really like Tanaka and do have some $$ they can spend. If this system is accepted then he’ll be in Chicago and not New York. It’s just BS.

    • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

      If both teams bid the max why would he choose to negotiate with Chicago over the Yankees? Yes the Cubs may have more celery room, but that doesn’t mean they’ll value Tanaka any differently than we would. Pus, he may want to win.

      • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Or are you talking about the worst record aspect? If so, until that is determined as fact I will hold my opinion.

  • BamBamMusings

    Those Japanese owners are bent on getting every penny out of the MLB market.

    • Mikhel

      or… MLB wants prime talent at low cost.

      NPB has products coveted by buyers (MLB teams), then they should be free to sell said product at the price buyers are willing to spend.

      MLB wants to impose a cap while they can’t put a cap on MLB free agency.

      • hogsmog

        But those ‘products’ are people, who are the ones with services to sell. Higher posting fees mean less money in the pockets of the players who are actually doing their jobs.

        • Barney G

          If MLB (or its players) cared about this then there wouldn’t be a draft, a union, revenue sharing, international spending caps, draft spending caps, etc

        • Paco Dooley

          American sports fans don’t appreciate the fact that other sports, like soccer, do not have trades – all players are bought and sold. Most of the money goes to those ‘transfer fees’ (paid to a team) and not to the player.

          There is also no spending limit, so rich teams buy in talent and poor teams sell talent. This leads to cases where billionaires buy teams and can immediately stock them with talent (e.g., Man City).

        • Laz

          Not always.

          If the player can still only negotiate with one team he doesn’t get any more leverage. He could be actually worse off it it say allowed a team like the Royals to win the bidding if the limit was too low.

  • TWTR

    There should be open bidding on a player and his Japanese team should get a predetermined percentage of the subsequent contract.

    • Colorado – Ralph

      I like this idea and it seems to make sense. What am I missing since something like this has never been discussed?

    • Paco Dooley

      Blind bidding typically nets more money than open contract negotiations, so I am surprised that Japanese teams would agree to get rid of the blind bid process. Texas would have presumably paid less for Darvish if teams had an open bidding process or negotiated a deal.

      This is the ‘winner’s curse’ and can be quite large.

      • TWTR

        Is that really true? Blind bidding precludes counteroffers.

  • Mister D

    Doesn’t sound very capitalist, eh?

    • Pseudoyanks

      Baseball isn’t Capitalism. It’s an Oligarchy.

  • D

    MLB should propose the years of service time a Japanese player has to put in to become a free agent be turned upside down from 9 to 6.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Oh boy. That is….not a good idea.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    In other news teams that score more than 4 runs will have the excess allocated to the other team in the spirit of competitive balance.

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      Well done.

  • Mikhel

    I said it before but it is worth repeating:

    MLB played the same game of chicken with the Caribbean Association this year because MLB didn’t want the integration of Cuba to the association and their players would be available to migrate to the MLB.

    The Caribbean Association has been looking to integrate more countries besides México (current champion), Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela (they aim to add: Nicaragua, Panamá, Cuba and Colombia).

    MLB ended conversations with the Association and warned them they could use their own players during Winter Ball, not a single player on MLB’s 40-men rosters and other protected players (based on innings played, innings thrown, at bats, etc).

    Once the Caribbean Associaton’s president (Puello) saw that, they agreed to MLBs conditions and Cuba (nor any other country besides the first 4) will be allowed to have a working agreement with MLB in winter baseball.

    For México, PR, DR and Venezuela was a big deal not to have their players because those leages are very succesful, even though MLB has not been granting permits to top US born talent to go and play.

    Long gone are the years where Willie Mays played winter ball the same season he won an MVP award and was one of the best players in winter (not the best per-se).

    • Mikhel


      warned them they COULD NOT use their players in winter…. et al

    • Slu

      Mays played winter ball for one reason: money. The players got paid jack then.

  • mustang

    “his rights go to the team with the worst record in the previous season”

    That’s just bullshit when are Yankees and the other big market teams going to stop this bullshit.
    When I go to away games the big market teams are always the “Premium Ticket” especially the Yankees that at least a 20% or more mark up. The Yankees are good enough to fill their parks, but they are going to block there development in every way. I understand competitive balance, but everything has its limitations.
    It’s also very convenient that this happens when the Yankees are very interested in the main player being posted. George would have had fun with this one.

    • Barney G

      Really. Say what you want about the old man but he would be cracking heads right now.
      Especially with the regime change too, the Yankees should be throwing their weight around at the commissioner’s office.
      There’s no way to really know what goes on behind the scenes, but my god, there has to be some more creative ways to throw money around with all the new regulations.

      • mustang

        “5% luxury tax next season on the portion of payrolls over $102 million, in addition to an increase in the revenue sharing the Yankees in particular already pay. “The luxury tax will basically kill the Yankees,” said one baseball official. “It’s an attempt to put the Yankees out of business.

        ” Steinbrenner struck back Friday when he sent lieutenants Randy Levine and Lonn Trost to meet with MLB negotiator Rob Manfred and other management lawyers to voice his concerns that the direction the talks are taking will badly hurt the Yankees. He has also asked noted New York attorney David Boies, who he has had on retainer since baseball attempted to block his marketing deal with Adidas, to explore legal remedies for any significant hit the Yankees might take in this labor ”

        At least George put up a fight. Like you said who knows what is going on behind scenes, but from the outside it just sad. Not just for the Yankees, but all big market teams.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso
    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      Just admit you’re ‘Yankee-proofing’ the process. Just say it! Say it!!!

  • forensic

    Give him to the worst team that bid? Might as well just call it a draft then. That’s basically what it would end up as.

    • mustang

      Just read it on MLB trade and it sucks.

      The only winners are the low market teams.

      Japanese teams lose because there is a cap on the bid.

      Japanese players lose because now they probably will end up on a losing team with smaller marketing and less of a chance for off field $$$

      Big market teams lost is obvious.

      It’s just too one sided

      • forensic

        Well, hopefully for all those reasons it won’t be accepted and they’ll keep working to something better.

      • RetroRob

        As forensic notes, the Japanese leagues would have to accept this proposal and they probably won’t. I’m also not sure if the Players’ Association would be in favor of it.

      • I’m One

        Or, they could negotiate hard and not accept a contract they didn’t like or simply refuse to negotaite if the winning team is in the middle of nowhere, completely away from anything associated with their culture (like Kansas City).

        While I realize this sucks for the Yankees and there are certainly better options, this is not the end of the world.

  • Barney G

    “MLB yanked their previous proposal a few weeks ago because they felt NPB was dragging its feet and slowing down the process.”

    This sounds like bs. Why would NPB teams want to slow the process that gets them paid?

  • Kluang Yankee

    This is really bad news with the cap on the posting. If we sign Cano for 22.5 AAV (8/180) and Kuroda for 16M and don’t count A-Rod’s money, my calculations show our total AAV at 160MM. We then need to add 12MM in player benes. We now have, if we want to stay under 189, 17MM AAV for a RF, 3B, SP4 and 8th inning reliever. Too much money to fill all our needs. We will then have to decide to dump the HalCap or have a team not likely to compete in the playoffs. Ugh!!! If we can believe that we were after Beltran, Tanaka, Kuroda and Cano all along, it does mean that we didn’t have any attention of staying under 189MM. So lets go all out and sign the best players and win another WS.

  • Kenny

    “If He didn’t want them sheared, He wouldn’t have made them sheep.” [The Magnificent Seven]

    That should be the motto, for Hal and other big market owners, if they permit this latest tactic in the small-marketeer’s putsch directed against them since the early 1990s.

  • CONservative governMENt

    In all seriousness, what us wrong with an eBay-style auction with continuous, anonymous bidding and a deadline?

    Teams could put in their max bid early and move on if its topped, teams could plan to snipe each other and for lesser players the NBL could do a ‘buy now’ option during the bidding process.

    Seems to be fair – why make it so complicated?

  • Al

    Let the teams bid and then put him on waiver, who ever claims pays the money.

  • jjyank

    As others have already said, if it does end up as a cap with the tie going to the team with the worst record, that is bullshit. Enough already. That would just make this whole process essentially a very expensive draft.

    • RetroRob

      If they allow the player to select which team he wants to negotiate with in a tie, then that would be to the Yankees advantage. Astros or Yankees?

      I just don’t see this being accepted as proposed.

  • Chris Z.

    Why would MLB even deal with the NPB like this? The NPB has zero leverage in this situation. MLB can tell NPB to go screw itself and when their players become legit free agents they can take anyone worth a dam without any compensation and leave the league high and dry. They are doing this because there is a shared interest in making sure the NPB is viable and continues to produce quality players but at the end of the day MLB owes the NPB nothing. This entire system is screwed up.

    Just another reward for being a crappy team in a crappy market.

    • RetroRob

      There is a recognition on both sides that it is to their advantage to have a working agreement in place. For example, Tanaka can’t come to MLB for another two years when he’d been an unrestricted free agent. And the Japanese leagues do have the ability to decide when a player can become a free agent. If there is no posting agreement in place, they may then change the rules of the game on their side.

      Last, if there is no posting system in place, the way MLB has set up its international free agent system as it relates to Japan and Cuba, pretty much any Japanese player would be able to negotiate directly with all MLB teams once they became free agents after a certain age. I’m not sure the smaller market teams would be in favor of that as it would still favor the big market teams who want to spend the most money.

  • Mike HC

    In another month or so it is getting to the point they should just agree to the blind bid system for one more year and try to work on an agreement for next off season. It is not like the blind bid system was so horrible that it just had to be scrapped asap. And it made a lot more sense than the averaging the top two bids proposal or instituting a max bid which gets figured out how, exactly? MLB and NPB are going to negotiate this max bid every year?

  • Nathan

    I guess there goes Tanaka.

    This proposed system is like a big middle finger to the Yankees.

  • Kluang Yankee

    This will only increase our satisfaction as we stick in Bud’s face when we win the World Series.

  • MartinRanger

    Well, that’s a lot more sensible than what was originally reported. Assuming Tanaka is posted, the Yankees will have as much of a chance as anyone who submits a max bid? That makes it harder, but if plan 189 is out the window the Yankees still have a shot…if Tanaka is posted.

    The ‘worst record’ idea is one of the worst Selig’s ever had.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    While this system is still BS, it does offer potential advantages for the Yankees.

    If Tanaka wants to play for a serious contender, it doesn’t get much more serious than our offseason so far, unless we ink Cano.

    If he wants to play for money (contract AND endorsements) well…I’ll let you fill in the rest.

    If he wants to help the Cubs and Astros rebuild, well then more power to him. Maybe he’ll get a chance at a World Series once or twice during that contract.

    • TheBadOwl

      Also, I feel like their agents will have a huge say in their decision as well, and that absolutely helps the Yankees.

  • Deathstroke Heathcott

    So every team is gonna post the max bid, right? Nothing to lose by doing so…

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      This is now true free agency for the elite NPB players except 20 million dollars of the contract is basically going to the NPB team and not counting on the luxury tax for the MLB team.

  • Chris

    The big disadvantage that I see is that the teams that submit the winning bid can “leak” potential deals out in order to have them choose in their favor. Also, if the Yankees were hoping to get him for 10 million or so a year and hope to stay under 189, that is pretty much out the window.

    • RetroRob

      It doesn’t help the Yankees cause with Tanaka in that many teams can now submit $20M bids, and this will inflate his overall asking price. Yet it overall substantially increases the Yankees chances to bid on the better players. They no longer have to make a decision to bid $50+M on a Darvish. Submit the $20M bid, and then they can negotiate directly with the player. If this system was in place a couple years back, Darvish might very well be a Yankee, that is if the Yankees were in the spending mood.

      • Chris

        I hope you are right RetroRob. I actually hope the Yanks give MLB the bird and re-sign Kuroda, then entice Tanaka with a Japanese mentor and re-sign Cano and Reynolds. I would be pretty happy with the team we would roll out there everyday.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Sorry, but this reeks of complete bullshit. Now whereas someone like Darvish’s has an AAV of $10M, Tanaka will end up somewhere around $18-20M.

    Maybe it’s a “fair” system, although you wonder why they waited until THIS point to do it. Actually, no. You don’t “wonder,” we all KNOW why.

    • mustang

      Hummmmm…..me!…me!,…. me!…. I know

      What is the New York Yankees? Alex

    • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Exactly. We’re now reasonably likely to be the choice of any posted player, assuming they want to win. But it definitely also means that AAVs go up, which makes Tanaka a different calculus for us assuming $189mm is still in play, and maybe even if it’s not.

    • Mike

      We should just offer a massive contract to Tanaka to teach MLB a lesson.

  • TopChuckie

    I assume the player has to choose the team immediately and cannot negotiate with any team until after he chooses, in theory? In which case it’s not true free agency, once all teams bid $20M and the player chooses a team, that team now has the upper hand, unless there’s some clause about being able to change teams if it’s deemed a good faith effort wasn’t made by the team to negotiate.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      It seems like the player doesn’t have to choose one team to negotiate with.
      He can negotiate with all of the teams that tied for high bid.

      • TopChuckie

        Then this seems great for the players, terrible for both MLB and NPB teams. Hard to believe the two parties involved in the negotiation got screwed, and the one party not involved came out on top.

        • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

          Yeah the always awesome lose-lose.

  • OldYanksFan

    The bad news (for the Yankees only) is:
    Since the Posting Fee maxes out at $20m, chances are the players contractual salaries with be considerably higher. Ergo, less of the total cost is tax free.

    • Chris H

      It also means less players being posted in prime years since they have no real incentive post a player at a younger age to receive more money.

  • pat

    Why on earth would the NPB teams agree to 20 million?

    Darvish: $51,700,000
    Matsuzaka: $51,100,000

    Hell, even Igawa was $26,000,000

    • CashmanNinja

      Exactly. Igawa alone would give that team $6 mil more than this new system would pay. The price is only going up for other players. Tanaka is FAR more talented than Igawa was and since teams have more money to throw around it could have gone up to $100 mil. So basically Tanaka’s team is going to miss out on anywhere from $30-80 mil with this new system. If I were them I’d be pissed as well and would say screw it and not post him. It’s not like they’d gain that much. They’ll probably make more money by keeping him and winning rather than take $20 mil for him to come to the U.S.

    • NoOne

      NPB wasn’t negotiating from a position of strength. The old system was antiquated and ended up being lopsided in NPB’s favor. The posting system was a step above a gentleman’s agreement.

      The alternative to NPB accepting this current offer would be to have a true 2 league system, where MLB could hire any japanese player and NPB could hire any MLB player regardless of their current number of years of control without giving the previous team any compensation. The NPB would never want this since they couldn’t compete financially. I doubt the Softbank Hawks are ready to offer 8/210 to Robbie Cano.

      I see the players as gaining the most here, since (hopefully) the money saved on posting fees will be added to the contracts of players like Darvish and Matsuzaka in the future.

    • MannyGeee

      This. $20M seems like a low number.

      That said, MLB has all the leverage. If NPB doesn’t go along, then MLB teams can just as easily hang back another year or 3 for the Tanakas of the world to hit true free agency. Then NPB teams get nothing.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      maybe they agreed to that 20 million cap BECAUSE it’s so low. There’s no need for them to post players anymore because keeping the (star) players will be much more valuable than a posting fee of 20 million (unless they’re 1-2 years away from international free agency).

  • Mike

    We lose in every way here.

    – There will be more teams bidding for Tanaka.
    – He can probably ask for and get a much higher salary figure that counts towards the cap

    Management should allow us to go over 189 so we can sign both Cano and Tanaka.