Star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is eager to play in the U.S.’s Major League Baseball next season, but is still waiting for his team to make a decision if they will allow him. In a news conference last Tuesday, Tanaka said that he has already informed his Rakuten Eagles President Yozo Tachibana that, “he would like them to allow him to test his abilities in Major League Baseball next season.”
Tanaka, who has a 1.27 ERA with the Golden Eagles in the regular season will not be a free agent until after 2015, and will only be able to move to MLB if his team agree to post him. His team, however, want Tanaka to stay with the Eagles until the next season. “We told him he is very important to us and we’d like him to stay,” Tachibana said. The Eagles actually opposed the new posting agreement and voted against it in a poll last Monday.
Under the new posting agreement, which has become quite controversial, a Nippon Professional Baseball team may post a player from November 1 to February 1 and set a price on the player for up to $20 million. The posting fee will only be paid by a major league team if the player signs and can be given in increments, depending on the amount. Anyone not signed can only be posted again until the following November 1. During the previous agreement, no cap on the posting fee was set and only the highest bidder can negotiate with the player.
Putting a cap on the posting fee did not sit well with a lot of Japanese teams. Players such as Daisuke Matsuzaka was posted at a fee more than double of the cap price – a whooping $51,111,111.11, and was signed by the Boston Red Sox for a $52 million contract for six years, while Yu Darvish of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters was posted at a price of $51,603,411 and signed by the Texas Rangers for $56 million for six years. Major league teams however complained that only the richest clubs could afford bids such as that. The new agreement was put up to set an equal footing among all MLB teams. “We are pleased to have amicably reached an agreement that addresses various issues raised by all parties,” Said MLB COO Rob Manfred.
[via The Republic]