Nippon Professional Baseball will reopen talks with Major League Baseball over a new bidding system for Japan by no later than Tuesday after MLB pulled its proposal last week.
Representatives from the 12 teams in Japan met on Monday, when they were told by NPB negotiators that they will strive to maintain a system somewhat resembling the existing one.
“We will negotiate to try to keep what we have,” NPB’s general secretary Atsushi Ihara said. “We have to go over a timetable with them.”
On Thursday, MLB said it withdrew the proposal that was on the table, arguing the Japanese took too long to act on striking a new agreement.
Under the previous deal which has expired, Japanese players wanting to play in the majors who are not free agents had to be put up for a blind bid to MLB’s 30 teams.
The highest bidder had an exclusive negotiating window of 30 days to sign the player. If no agreement could be struck, the player was sent back to his Japanese team.
MLB’s new proposal had set the winning fee at a figure in between the two highest bids, and if a club failed to sign the player, it would be subject to a fine.
The Japanese players association relented over the proposal after initially balking at the idea, saying it offered little for NPB, its club or the players.
Marines chasing Wakui
The Chiba Lotte Marines will negotiate with free-agent right-hander Hideaki Wakui on Tuesday in an effort to bolster their Pacific League-worst pitching staff.
The Marines announced Monday that team president Iekuni Nakamura and Nobuhira Hayashi, head of baseball operations, will attend the talks in Tokyo with the 27-year-old Wakui, who declared free agency from the Seibu Lions.
Third-place Lotte had a team ERA of 3.77 this season. Wakui, who has twice led the PL in wins, went 5-7 with seven saves and a 3.90 ERA for the second-place Lions.
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