Nippon Professional Baseball formally agreed on the terms of a new posting system with Major League Baseball on Monday.
NPB’s executive committee met and signed off on an agreement that both sides had agreed to in principle. The new rules will be in force after MLB executives formally approve it on Monday in New York.
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.”
Under the old system, MLB clubs paid in excess of $50 million to the NPB teams of pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish, while players were restricted to negotiating with only the club that made the top bid. But the new agreement will allow posted players to negotiate with every MLB team that pays a posting fee (up to the maximum) set by his NPB club.