Saturday, May 20, 2017

MLB, Nippon Professional League and the Yankees Acquiring Shohei Otani?

Good evening Yankees family. I know usually after the games we are done for the day here on the blog but there is one more bit of information that I just feel compelled to bring to you and it involves the slew of Japanese imports that Major League Baseball has seen over the years and will continue to see for the foreseeable future. Major League baseball wants to see changes in their player acquisition agreement with Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League.

Back in December of 1998 the NPBL and MLB agreed to a posting system that allowed Japanese clubs to make their players available for teams in the United States to acquire without their former Japanese League team getting basically nothing for the player in return. MLB teams would bid and/or pay a posting fee to the team just for the exclusive rights to negotiate with the player. We saw some incredible posting fees over the years under this plan including Daisuke Matsuzaka’s $51,111,111.11 posting fee and Yu Darvish’s $51,703,411 posting fee. Matsuzaka received a six-year deal worth $52 million from the Boston Red Sox after the posting fee while Darvish received a six-year deal worth $56 million from the Texas Rangers after the astronomical posting fees were paid.

MLB and NPBL changed the way they do things during the offseason before the 2014 season when they capped the fee payable to the Japanese club at $20 million while also giving some of the power back to the player allowing the player to negotiate with any of the teams willing to put up the $20 million posting fee. This helped the Yankees that season as they willingly paid the $20 million to the Rakuten Golden Eagles before signing Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year deal worth $155 million.


Now MLB wants to change it again and make it a more uniform and straightforward process much like they are trying to do with Cuban imports right now. So specifics were released as to what these potential changes are or when they could be implemented, just that Rob Manfred and company want to see more uniform and widespread changes in the process. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned, especially since Shohei Otani is set to come to the states sooner rather than later. 

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