Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Lions grant Kazuhisa Makita's wish to use posting system

Kyodo

The Seibu Lions will approve of submarine right-hander Kazuhisa Makita’s wish to make himself available to the U.S. market through the posting system, the Pacific League club said Monday.

Lions director Haruhiko Suzuki said the club will respond favorably to the 32-year-old’s request to use the auction-style transfer system, though Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball have yet to reach a decision on a potential revision.

Until negotiations between the two organizations are finalized, players are unable to begin the application process.

“We plan to give him the green light. We are moving in that direction. He has a strong desire (to move to the majors through the posting system),” Suzuki said.

“We haven’t heard the outcome (of the negotiations). We will wait for that, then submit paperwork,” he said.

Makita was a second-round draft pick for Seibu in the 2011 season, when he earned the PL Rookie of the Year award. His pitching versatility has allowed the Lions to use him as a starter, reliever and closer in his seven-year career.

This past season, he went 3-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 58 games.

The posting system allows any player who does not have the requisite nine years of professional experience to gain international free agency to be “posted” for major league clubs.

From 2013 through last season, NPB and MLB had agreed Japanese teams could demand a transfer fee of up to $20 million for any player made available to the majors via the posting system. This year, however, MLB exercised its option to back out of that agreement.

Prior to 2013, the posting system was a closed bid, with only the team offering the highest posting fee eligible to negotiate a contract with the player in question.

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