Baseball: Tanaka, Eagles waiting for new posting system agreement

Kyodo

Rakuten Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka offered no relief on Tuesday to major league teams waiting for word that the right-hander will become available through the posting system.

“I have nothing to say. That will come after I talk with the team,” Tanaka said at Kleenex Stadium, where he saved Game 7 of the Japan Series on Sunday after throwing 160 pitches in a complete-game loss the day before.

Unfortunately, talks with the team are not expected until a final agreement on the posting system is hammered out between Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball, team president Yozo Tachibana said at the club’s offices.

“We are confirming the system with NPB,” Tachibana said. “When that’s all completed, we will hear what his intentions are.”

The Eagles signed the pitcher to a three-year deal a year ago, but are expected to post him if he so desires.

Major league clubs have expressed dissatisfaction with the current posting system, since paying large sums to negotiate with NPB clubs leaves less available to offer the players. Talks to modify the agreement are underway and are expected to reach a conclusion before long.

Tanaka went 24-0 during the regular season with one save and a Pacific League-best 1.27 earned run average. He won his second Sawamura Award as Japan’s most impressive starting pitcher. His Japan Series loss was his first since August 2012.