DuluthFan and JB-Iowa make some great points.
Most posts- understandably- focus on how the mechanics of this deal will work from an MLB, and specifically Twins perspective. However, it's important to stress Pro ball in Japan is BIG money, and clubs there do not want to see themselves become a farm system for MLB and have their best players poached each offseason.
That's why there was such foot-dragging from NPB, and why MLB had to force them back to the table. From the NPB clubs' perspective, they gave up a lot on this one- and frankly, I'm kinda shocked. MLB made out like bandits.
$20m gets clubs like us in the running, but from an NPB club perspective, it's cold comfort compared to what they had been getting. The prior deal was unsustainable from an MLB view, but don't be surprised if NBP clubs resist and refuse to post in the future. Even now, Rakuten, Tanaka's club is feeling wary: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2.../#.UqHkjY1hOL0
As to JB_Iowa's point, I agree and feel that if you don't look, you don't find, and don't sign.
Aside: in '03, I made pals with the Chinese Olympic squad, and wound up at a CBL game (Shanghai @ Beijing). Surprise: a Twins scout was the host, and even bought lunch (KFC). I was happily surprised to see him in Mainland China (not Taiwan- which was also his turf) beating the bushes. That was 10 years ago, but boy was I proud to personally witness MY CLUB to be making the effort.
On that note, I was glad to hear that Twins were up to speed in Korea, and seems we have the 'in' in Australia as well. Gotta do what it takes to win, and find the talent where it is.
This is a different take on the new system. According to this article, the Japanese club decides the fee in advance and then opens it up for mlb teams rather than a bidding system up to $20 m.
Lots of different info coming out about Tanaka:
Wonder if Rakutan could demand money from the player to be let out of their contract?
First guy to bid, gets him, right? :p
This 100% eliminates us from Tanaka-mania
Little confusing. Welcome to Asia!
From the sounds of the Mainichi article (thanks, JB_Iowa) 20m is not a floor but a cap.
Ok, but every club's going to shoot the moon, right? A cap for all intents and purposes.
This is where the resistance is setting in: while $20m is a nice windfall for an NPB club, it's not a game-changer, and to let a guy like Tanaka basically walk for a song is hard to imagine. Put it this way: Japan is a Confucian culture, based on revering ancestors. Or precedents, if you want to put it that way. From their perspective, this is a slippery slope.
Btw, there is a good article here on Rakuten's digging-their-heels-in attitude:
New posting system is up for ratification by NPB clubs today- we'll find out soon enough!
Perhaps they wait another year (he's a FA in 2 years) until they post him but 20M is huge for Japanese teams. For example Rakuten's entire payroll in 2009 (the latest year I can easily find) was only 20M. 20M certainly isn't a song for them.
They'll post him. Rakuten is is only worth 1.9trillion yen (18.4m USD).
Or they could hold him another year, and Tanaka could tear his UCL.
edit: Err... make that 19B USD.
forgot a few zeroes.
Another great article.
Originally Posted by BigTrane
Seeing a lot of tweets that Tanaka will NOT be posted but don't recognize any of the sources. Has anyone seen something from something they would consider "official"?
EDIT: This update from MLB Trade Rumors appears to be the most accurate info available right now: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/masahiro-tanaka/
Still in limbo.
These new posting rules are absolutely in favor of large market teams. A team like the Yankees might have paid a posting fee of $50-75M just for the right to sign Tanaka. Now they only have to pay $20M so a large market team will simply offer Tanaka $17-20M a season and won't even blink at signing him to a 6 yr deal.
How does this new system help a small market team compete with the Yankees & Dodgers to try to get a player now? Maybe a team like Texas could be the front runner if he wants to play with Darvish. This system is completely broken even though it was just agreed upon.
The latest (7:48 AM GMT +8). The juicy bits:
The new system limits the amount Japanese teams can reap from relinquishing the rights to their players to $20 million, a component the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles are unwilling to concede. Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka may be the first player affected by the new rules.
“We did not agree to everything in it,” said Jun Yamada, the club’s official representative to NPB. “We cannot possibly consent to such terms. It demands continuing talks.”
Regardless of the team’s efforts to thwart the deal, NPB pushed ahead.
The Japan Series champion Eagles, who had been amenable to posting Tanaka in expectation of a huge windfall, have now said that retaining him for next season is a “high priority.”
Adjectives like "thwart" don't exactly bode well...
Here is some clarification and details about the system that has been agreed upon between the MLB and NPB:
- It will be in place for the next 3 years
- A NPB team decides when to post someone but all postings have to be made between 11/1 and 2/1
- A NPB team sets an amount for the posting (max is $20 million - and can be paid in installments based on the posting amount)
- All teams that are willing to pay that $20 million are free to negotiate with the posted player and the posted player is free to select the team of his choice.
- All negotiations have to conclude within 30 days from the posting (i.e. the latest by 3/2)
- posted players who have not agreed with MLB teams cannot be posted in the same off-season but their NPB team can post them the next season.
- posting fees do not count towards luxury tax, contracts do.
So, in other words, it works just like with MLB and MiLB and Cuban free agents, with the additional posting fee obligations to the NPB team, which will get paid after agreement is reached with the player.
Fair and just for the players, like the MLB, MiLB and Cuban free agents, and because there will be more salary $ and less posting $, teams like the Yankees and Dodgers will have luxury tax issues, giving more opportunities to the Twins' of the world, if of course are willing to spend market rate for players, and if of course Japanese players would like to live and work in Minneapolis and not other places.
This system isn't broken. These players are basically FA's with an additional posting fee that must be paid. And large market teams always have the advantage when it comes to signing FA's.
Originally Posted by darin617
And there is no good argument why 25-30+ yr old professional Asian ballplayers should be restricted to signing with bad teams or small market teams. They certainly shouldn't be required to enter the draft or be subject to the international FA salary limits. Both of those solutions would kill the flow of the Asian players to the majors.
I'm not so sure the new rules won't reduce the flow of Japanese players to MLB. It won't "kill" the flow, but there's certainly less incentive for NPB owners to post a player that's still under contract.
Originally Posted by kab21
Take Tanaka, for instance. Maybe he'll still be posted, but it seems far less certain than it would have been if his team could have taken bids the old way. Honestly, if I own his rights, and I know I'm likely to get the same $20 million every season (unless he blows out an elbow or something, but I could probably find someone to write me some insurance against that happening), why wouldn't I keep him to maximize the domestic revenues I'd realize from having him on my team at least through the next-to-last season on his contract?
Yes, the players will potentially see higher salaries once their Japanese team agrees to post them, but if their ability to move to the US is delayed, that's not going to help them so much.
You have misread my post. Restricting the Asian players to the MLB draft or the very restricted int'l FA spending caps would kill the flow Asian players to the majors. And that's the only way the system wouldn't favor big market teams (a prior complaint in this thread) since these players are essentially FA's.
Originally Posted by Jim Crikket
This posting fee limit will do nothing to restrict the flow of Asian players to the majors. 20M is still a huge amount of money for these Japanese teams and their choices are limited to this year, next year or completely losing him (no posting fee) if they want to maximize their domestic revenues. It's actually rare that a team would post a player before the next to last season of there contract but Rakuten was planning on cashing in early in case of injury.
Large markets might still get the best players but a greater portion of the overall payment will be taxed. No more 50m blowout posting bids and then 10m AAV contracts like Darvish.
Originally Posted by darin617
I think the new deal is an improvement. Japanese players will certainly benefit.
One question though. What are the rules governing players who opt to retire from NPB and sign as an international FA? As in, when they want to post but their team won't post them?
They wouldn't have that option. Their NPB team would hold their rights for X number of years and MLB would honor that.
Originally Posted by Willihammer
Presumably there are also rules in place that prevent the NPB team from negotiating a "deal" with the player, such as, we'll post you but we get 10% of your contract (kind of like another agent there)?
Essentially a fee for releasing them from their NPB contract -- that is, a fee in addition to the fee that the MLB team is already paying.
I assume the rules forbid this?
Yes. Because the contract would be an MLB player contract and has to be according the CBA. And according the CBA to get a cut you have to be a player representative (agent.) and there is a list of approved agents by the players' union (which does not include NPB teams as agents last I checked ;) )
Originally Posted by JB_Iowa
It could get interesting. If Tanaka wants to post, and the Golden Eagles won't post him, will he demand a trade? And if they won't trade him, what if he tears his rotator cuff next year, and then nobody wants him? That sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen but maybe that's just the American in me talking.