I'd like to draw your attention to Masahiro Tanaka

Tokyo Sox

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Tanaka, or Ma-kun as he is known, recently broke the NPB consecutive wins record of 20, and he has now won his last 22 decisions going back to last season.  So far this season he is 18-0 with a 1.15 ERA.
 
This Spring he was already rumored to be the next big Japanese name to make the move to MLB, and I believe Rakuten was also at MLB's winter meetings in Florida this year, though I have no idea how common that is for a Japanese team.
 
It seems pretty likely that Rakuten will grant his wish this offseason and you will see him Stateside in 2014.
 
His splitter is fairly nasty, as you can see here.  Pardon the music:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVUrIeSuCrM
 
 
He'll be 25 in November.
 
 
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Well, he's 6'2 and 205 pounds.  That's a bit bigger than Daisuke.  How big are his hands? :)
 
One of the reasons I like Darvish is he had more a pitcher's build.  That build isn't everything, as Pedro Martinez would attest, but Tanaka isn't nearly that small anyway.  With the amount of times that splitter bounces in, however, I'm hoping they'd retain someone like Ross (or Vazquez long term) to caddy him.
 
I'm not sure I can see this ownership group getting too crazy with the bidding process on another Japanese starter, though.  Daisuke was no where near what he was hyped to be and by the end of his contract, they couldn't wait to get rid of him.  They'll probably be gun shy enough that when you combine that with the lack of a glaring need at starting pitcher I'm guessing they'll be outbid.
 
An interesting question is, where does he end up?  This would be a great place for the Astros to start spending again.  Locking this kid in to build around would be a nice move, especially if they couple it with an off season like what the Sox did this past winter.  Fill the roster with staggered veteran contracts and start working in the kids around them and they could be contenders again in another couple of seasons.
 
I imagine Texas will be interested.  They seem like they're always in on pitchers.  If Philly's deal with Gonzalez falls through, they'll probably be big players for him.  Miami might be an intriguing darkhorse.  If this kid does have number 1 stuff, pairing him with Fernandez would be incredible and would give them a much quicker window to contention.
 
The Yankees will surely be aggressive here, as they really need to find a good young pitcher to add to the mix.  I wouldn't be surprised if they blew everyone out of the water here.  The Mets will also be fairly aggressive, especially if Harvey needs TJ surgery.  They might be able to not skip too much of a beat for next year then set themselves up to have a dominant young rotation in 2015.
 
The more I think about this, the more I think it will be a circus and that it will cost the Red Sox a ton of money to pull it out.  I'd rather they focus on Jose Abreu while the league is drooling over Tanaka.
 

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I think the Yankees are the obvious team that would go nuts on a posting fee for this guy. If they do in fact post him this winter, I'd imagine it'd be the Yankees or maybe the Sox. But I think the Yankees would have to be the prohibitive favorites.
 

JimBoSox9

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It's literally impossible to pardon the music.  Love the fastball though, looks like he can run it up to 92-93 and it makes the split a brutal way to pull the string at 87-88.  
 

Fred in Lynn

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I thought this guy lost his head when he mocked O-Ren...
 
I'd like to hear someone more knowledgeable than I wax on in regard to the delivery.  That Sutcliffe-like hook at the back/bottom end of the motion is driving me nuts, although for no good technical reason I can cite.  (Is he scap loading?  Have these theories been debunked?  I have young kids who don't sleep, so staying up on contemporary views just doesn't happen for me.)
 
The catcher loves to drop the left knee down on the inside edge just prior to the pitch, which might mean he doesn't hop out of the crouch to throw out runners or that we watched an entire video of Tanaka pitching with nobody on.  Or maybe I'm just getting older and am athletically challenged by merely doing anything after having to crouch.
 
Edit:  Wait, I guess it makes sense although the technique seems a bit odd.  I was too concerned with being caught in a pantomime trying to throw out an invisible runner from my knees to put forth the necessary effort.  I was putting down my right knee.
 

OttoC

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
...Daisuke was no where near what he was hyped to be and by the end of his contract, they couldn't wait to get rid of him....
 
At the end, maybe/yes...but he didn't begin his MLB career too shabbily--sitting at 33-15/3.72 and an ERA+ of 126 after his first two seasons. Then he injured himself during the 2009 WBC but refused to tell anyone.
 

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derekson said:
I think the Yankees are the obvious team that would go nuts on a posting fee for this guy. If they do in fact post him this winter, I'd imagine it'd be the Yankees or maybe the Sox. But I think the Yankees would have to be the prohibitive favorites.
 
He'll be in blue, Dodger blue
 

Laser Show

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Jonah Keri wrote about him this morning:
 
Tanaka struck out 138 batters this season against just 23 walks (a 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk rate), ceding just five homers in 165 innings pitched. That's actually hisworst result of the past three seasons: Tanaka whiffed 169 batters and walked just 19 in 2012 (just less than nine strikeouts for every one walk) with just four homers allowed in 173 innings, and fanned 241 while walking just 27 in 2011 (another near-9-to-1 rate), with eight home runs given up in 226⅓ innings. For perspective, only three qualified big league starting pitchers have ever posted strikeout-to-walk rates of 9-to-1 or better: Curt Schilling in 2002, Cliff Lee in 2010, and Bret Saberhagen in 1994.
 
 
But as Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote in his summary of Tanaka's most recent start, the righty's splitter grades out as a potential 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. "Tanaka has arguably the best splitter in the world," Badler wrote. It's partly because not many major leaguers throw one, but also because it's a devastating pitch that leaves hitters with little option but to keep the bat on their shoulder and hope that it dives below the strike zone for a ball, rather than the belt-to-knees break it often gets.
 
 

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His K/BB ratio is fantastic, but will his current K rate play here? It's trended downward his last few seasons too, went from over 9 three years ago, to slightly under 9 in 2012, to just a hair under 7.5 this season.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Adrian's Dome said:
His K/BB ratio is fantastic, but will his current K rate play here? It's trended downward his last few seasons too, went from over 9 three years ago, to slightly under 9 in 2012, to just a hair under 7.5 this season.
 
I think his walk rate is probably more important when trying to determine if he'll be successful stateside.  His K/BB, even in a down year this year, is still in line with the best K/BB's posted by either Daisuke or Yu Darvish.  His control is outstanding.
 
Darvish has a 3.88 this year, so I'd expect Tanaka's number will drop well below the 6 he has now (maybe closer to 4?) but it will still be very solid.  The strikeout rate will surely drop, though I don't know if this year's number is the best place to start from when trying to convert it.  He has good enough stuff that his true talent level is probably between that and the 9ish rate he's had previously.
 
He won't come near Darvish's major league strikeout rate, though.  Even if his splitter is as good as advertized, that's a really tall feat.
 

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I wonder whether the splitter will be the same when he uses an American ball instead of a Japanese one.  I recall some discussion of this issue with respect to Daisuke's breaking pitches not quite being the same.
 

ForceAtHome

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Iwakuma may be a better comparison than Darvish. Darvish has an insane strikeout rate which sort of masks the fact that his control isn't that great. Darvish's strikeout rate in Japan was also superlative. Finally, Darvish has a bigger body at 6'5, 225. For reference, Iwakuma is 6'3, 210 and Tanaka is 6'2, 205.
 
Tanaka's K rate has ranged from 6.9-9.6 the past four seasons, with a downward trend the past three years. His BB/9 has hovered close to 1 though, leaving him with an excellent K/BB rate. Iwakuma's K/9 hovered near 7 for his final four seasons in Japan. His walk rate was generally around 1.5 BB/9, leaving him with a good K/BB. His numbers on the whole weren't as good as Tanaka's numbers, but Iwakuma has actually increased his K-rate in MLB and turned into a pretty good starter.
 
One question I don't know the answer to is how hard Tanaka regularly throws. He appeared to be between 91-94 or so in that video, but I don't know where he regularly sits with his fastball. Iwakuma sits more around 90 while Darvish sits around 93 with the ability to get up to 97-98 when needed.
 

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Kevin Youkulele said:
I wonder whether the splitter will be the same when he uses an American ball instead of a Japanese one.  I recall some discussion of this issue with respect to Daisuke's breaking pitches not quite being the same.
 
I remember Schilling talking about the splitter and how guys will lose it as it stretches out their fingers a bit.  I wonder if the bigger ball might actually help delay that?
 
ForceAtHome said:
One question I don't know the answer to is how hard Tanaka regularly throws. He appeared to be between 91-94 or so in that video, but I don't know where he regularly sits with his fastball. Iwakuma sits more around 90 while Darvish sits around 93 with the ability to get up to 97-98 when needed.
 
The link to Ben Badler's article at BA which covered his last start said he was working 91-95 with most of his pitches at the upper end of that range and touched 97 on his 108th pitch of the outing. 
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Did a quick comparison of Daisuke, Darvish and Tanaka earlier today that I thought I'd share here.  It's just a quick look at their last three years in the NPB.
 
 

The Best Catch in 100 Years

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It's not a cinch that a Japanese starter's K-rate will fall when he makes the transition to MLB. The talent level is certainly higher in MLB, but the hitters also strike out more here. Yu Darvish's strikeout rate improved in MLB, and Iwakuma's roughly stayed the same.
 

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Let the battle begin
 

The teams that were scouting Masahiro Tanaka during his last start were the Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, Braves and Diamondbacks, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. The Rangers, Athletics and Giants have also shown interest.
 
He's now 20-0 in 23 starts (2 shutouts in 7 complete games) with a 1.24 ERA, 7.71 K/9, 1.34 BB/9, 5.74 K/BB, .934 WHIP and a .212 BAA in 181 innings.
 

Tokyo Sox

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That article was published before he let up 1 ER in a complete game W on Friday.  21-0 in 24 starts now on the season, ERA down to 1.23.  
 

mabrowndog

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The recent revelation of juiced balls being used in NPB this year makes his performance all the more remarkable.
 

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I guess if they can't hit the ball it doesn't matter if the balls are juiced. Pretty amazing performance. Curious to see how this guy translates to MLB. Darvish has certainly been impressive.
 

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With his team leading three games to two, Tanaka will take the hill for Rakuten in Game 6 of the Japan Series.  It's starts at 6 AM on Saturday morning and there will be streaming options on justin.tv for those who want to watch his final start before he makes the jump to MLB.
 
His final line, by the way:  24-0, 1.27 ERA, 212 IP, 168 H, 183 K, 32 BB.  Despite the gaudy W-L record and ERA, this was arguably a step down for Tanaka from some of his previous seasons, as he posted the second-lowest K rate of his career and his worst K/BB ratio in three years.
 

cannonball 1729

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He'll be in blue, Dodger blue
 
Much as it pains me to say this, I can see the Yankees making a posting bid that blows everyone else out of the water.  Posting bids are one of the few ways to spend money that don't count against the cap, and they have a bunch of money lying around.
 

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cannonball 1729 said:
 
Much as it pains me to say this, I can see the Yankees making a posting bid that blows everyone else out of the water.  Posting bids are one of the few ways to spend money that don't count against the cap, and they have a bunch of money lying around.
 
Also they are supposedly changing the posting rules in the next few days to let the player pick the team he wants to negotiate with from among the top few bids (the specifics aren't set yet), which should help the Yankees more often than not, I'd think.
 
http://nypost.com/2013/10/26/changes-coming-to-mlb-bids-for-japan-players/
 

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Maybe in the future, but this year?  If you're Tanaka and the top three teams you can pick from are the Yankees, the Dodgers and the Red Sox, are you picking the Yankees over either of the other two?  Of course, if the three teams are the Yankees, the Mets and the Astros, that's a tougher choice.
 

jon abbey

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I was talking about NYC as an international city to live in more than the quality of the organizations, but maybe that's not even true anymore. LA and SEA would also certainly be tempting for a Japanese person, although again everyone of course is different. I am biased by my wife who is from Tokyo and who much prefers NYC to anyplace else in the US (she didn't like California when she lived there briefly).
 
So yeah, maybe I'm wrong or it's wishful thinking, but I do think at least NY has a better chance if the system changes than if it's just the top bidder, as I don't think they're so good at estimating that.
 

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Tanaka lost a potential Series-clinching game 6 today in what's likely his final start in Japan. This is his first loss since August 12, 2012. He was 24-0 this regular season and 4-0 in the postseason until yesterday. Instead, they'll go to a game 7.
 

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Masahiro Tanaka ends 9th by K-ing Yoshinobu Takahashi with 152km/h fastball. Was his 160th pitch. Eagles down 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th.

 
 
>>> 94.5 mph
 

soxhop411

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So this possible change in the posting system does not make sense to me
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To clarify on Japanese posting, the top bidding team wins exclusive negotiating rights, but has to pay only the average of the top 2 bids.
Ken Davidoff ‏@KenDavidoff8m
So it's a good deal for #MLB. They protect themselves against one team going rogue & bidding an insane number.
Ken Davidoff ‏@KenDavidoff15m
Sounds like the plan for Japanese posting is that the final bid will be the average of the top two bids. Announcement likely very soon.
 
 
Doesn't this encourage larger bids now that teams know they wont have to pay the full $$$ if they win?
 

Hoplite

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soxhop411 said:
So this possible change in the posting system does not make sense to me
'Ken Davidoff ‏@KenDavidoff
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To clarify on Japanese posting, the top bidding team wins exclusive negotiating rights, but has to pay only the average of the top 2 bids.
Ken Davidoff ‏@KenDavidoff8m
So it's a good deal for #MLB. They protect themselves against one team going rogue & bidding an insane number.
Ken Davidoff ‏@KenDavidoff15m
Sounds like the plan for Japanese posting is that the final bid will be the average of the top two bids. Announcement likely very soon.
 
 
Doesn't this encourage larger bids now that teams know they wont have to pay the full $$$ if they win?
 
Exactly what I was thinking. If anything, this will cause teams to be bolder in their bids. Either they make a crazy high bid and lose the bidding and don't have to pay anything or they make a crazy high bid and win the bidding, but don't have to pay the amount they bid.
 

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Hoplite said:
 
Exactly what I was thinking. If anything, this will cause teams to be bolder in their bids. Either they make a crazy high bid and lose the bidding and don't have to pay anything or they make a crazy high bid and win the bidding, but don't have to pay the amount they bid.
 
So the Yankees bid 100 mil. What does the second highest bid come in as? LAD 90?
 

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Orel Miraculous said:
It turns out that Tanaka's 160 pitch Game 6 was not his last appearance in NPB... he pitched the ninth in Game 7 to get the save.
 
Depending on usage, this guy might arrive and have his arm explode.  If a MLB pitcher was used that way, we'd all be shaking our heads at the possible consequences in terms of arm damage.  
 

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Rovin Romine said:
 
Depending on usage, this guy might arrive and have his arm explode.  If a MLB pitcher was used that way, we'd all be shaking our heads at the possible consequences in terms of arm damage.  
 
They pitch once a week, not once every five days. So throwing 150 pitches isn't unreasonable. And even in the US, starters are used in relief roles in the playoffs (John Lackey).
 

Tokyo Sox

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It was still preposterous.  The 160 pitches in Game 6 was pushing it, but I understood it because he had won every decision so far on the season, and it was a close game, and he still probably gave them the best chance to win.  And had Rakuten come back, Ma-kun's perfect record would then have stayed intact and it would be the perfect cap to an amazing season.
 
Bringing him in the next day was just absurd.  He didn't give them their best chance to win, and didn't pitch a clean & easy inning either - he faced 5 guys, giving up hits to two of them.  I wonder if they would have left him in if he'd given up a run.  It was classic Japanese "fan service", to let the fans see their (likely departing) hero on the mound one last time, and to some degree it was an honor bestowed by the manager on Tanaka himself.  He brought them this far, so he got to be the guy to close it out.  Maybe he even wanted or asked for it.  But that doesn't mean it was a good idea.  Because it wasn't.
 
***************************************

In related news, NPB officials are supposed to announce today whether or not they agree to the new posting system as proposed by MLB.  I have to assume they're going to, in part because Tanaka is such a high-profile player.  But we'll see.
 

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First news I can find on the subject is in Japanese, but says NPB has agreed to MLB's proposal.
 
Highlights:
- They'll formalize the agreement on the 18th
- Players could be approved for posting as early as the 20th
- as in Soxhop's quoted tweets, the highest bidder still wins exclusive negotiating rights but pays the average between their bid & the second highest bid.
 

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Tokyo Sox said:
First news I can find on the subject is in Japanese, but says NPB has agreed to MLB's proposal.
 
Highlights:
- They'll formalize the agreement on the 18th
- Players could be approved for posting as early as the 20th
- as in Soxhop's quoted tweets, the highest bidder still wins exclusive negotiating rights but pays the average between their bid & the second highest bid.
 
I read the article Abbey linked upthread but can't find an answer: why is NPB agreeing to this rather than just leaving things as they were?  Did they get any concessions from MLB in exchange for going from highest bidder to the average of the two highest?  Or had the previous deal expired and had to be renegotiated or something?
 

Hoplite

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SumnerH said:
 
I read the article Abbey linked upthread but can't find an answer: why is NPB agreeing to this rather than just leaving things as they were?  Did they get any concessions from MLB in exchange for going from highest bidder to the average of the two highest?  Or had the previous deal expired and had to be renegotiated or something?
 
MLB has all of the leverage. If NPB doesn't meet their demands on a new posting system, there wouldn't be anything to stop a player from retiring from NPB and signing with an MLB team. That's what happened before the agreement was in place (see Hideo Nomo).
 

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MLB NOT happy it seems.

“@DPLennon: #MLB is disregarding Japanese players union approval. Not happy with their delays. Need to re-open talks. This sounds messy.”
 

soxhop411

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â@dylanohernandez: Because Japanese baseball officials took too long to respond to MLB proposal on posting system, MLB wants to amend their proposal.â

â@DPLennon: With no posting system in place, and #MLBs frustration, Rob Manfred actually brought up having free agency for Japanese players.â

â@Ken_Rosenthal: Owner: "Serious reservations" among clubs about posting process. Possible no agreement is reached, which means no Tanaka this off-season.â


That last tweet is huge news for teams like the Yankees
 

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Wow this has spiraled unexpectedly out of control. Late last night it seemed all but done. Now Tanaka may not even play in the US in 2014? Sheesh
 

Hoplite

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soxhop411 said:
â@dylanohernandez: Because Japanese baseball officials took too long to respond to MLB proposal on posting system, MLB wants to amend their proposal.â

â@DPLennon: With no posting system in place, and #MLBs frustration, Rob Manfred actually brought up having free agency for Japanese players.â

â@Ken_Rosenthal: Owner: "Serious reservations" among clubs about posting process. Possible no agreement is reached, which means no Tanaka this off-season.â


That last tweet is huge news for teams like the Yankees
 
What would stop Tanaka from retiring from NPB and becoming a major league free agent, like players did before there was an agreement on a posting process?
 

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball is withdrawing its proposal for a new bidding system with Japan, making it uncertain whether prized pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be on the market this offseason.
MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred said Japanese officials had not acted quickly enough on MLB's proposal for a new agreement and that a new proposal will be forwarded.
"We warned them, told them if this sat too long, there could be shifting winds out there, and suffice it to say there are shifting winds," Manfred said.
Under the so-called "posting system," agreed to in December 1998, more than a dozen Japanese players have moved to MLB before the nine years of service time they would have needed to become a free agent. Under the system, MLB clubs submit bids, and the highest bidder has 30 days to reach an agreement with the player.
Boston obtained pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka from the Seibu Lions before the 2007 season for $51.1 million, and Texas got pitcher Yu Darvish from the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters before the 2012 season for $51.7 million. Those figures don't include the players' contracts with the new teams.
"I think the concerns with the system was it was a blind bidding process that led to inflated numbers," Manfred said, "and that those inflated numbers make that market unavailable to a broad cross-section of our teams."
Tanaka, a 25-year-old right-hander, went a 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA during the regular season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League.
Without an agreement, Japanese players would not be able to sign with MLB until they had nine years of service time.
"If that's the way we get Japanese professionals, I think that the 30 major league clubs are prepared to live with that result," Manfred said
 
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9976184/mlb-withdrawing-proposal-japan-bidding-system
 
This could turn into a long fight
 

Hoplite

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Dishonoring his team and his country.

You have to factor in the cultural aspects.
 
Has a Japanese player ever stated that as a reason for not jumping straight to MLB? Because it didn't stop Masanori Murakami, Hideo Nomo or Hideki Irabu from doing it.
 

Hoplite

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Well, as you stated, there was no posting system in place. And they all had their own unique circumstances that don't apply here.

Murakami was sent over by his Japanese team as a learning experience when he was a 20 yr old prospect. When he didn't want to come back, the Japanese commissioner allowed him one more season, told him to return after and he did, playing only two years in the US and the rest of his career back home. This led to the formal agreement between the two leagues.

Nomo exploited a loop hole in that agreement, retired and moved to MLB. They then changed the language in the agreement to prevent such a move.

Irabu was purchased by the Padres, with full consent of his Japanese team. When other MLB teams got upset, the posting process was formally put in place.

So none are really analogous here. Japanese teams post these players for the massive income it generates for their organization and parent companies. To deny them that would not go over well for the player (you may remember during the DiceK negotiations, it was used as leverage against him, or at least theoretically it was). It wouldn't help the relationship with NPB and MLB either. There are also ramifications back home for the player as they would be forced to sit out a numbers of years if they tried to return home.
 
As far as I can tell, the only recourse NPB has for players who don't follow their posting system is making them ineligible to play in NPB for three years. At least that's what they threaten the high school players with who say they want to leave Japan. For someone who's maximized their salary potential in Japan, like Tanaka, I don't see what the downside would be. I think you may be overemphasizing a cultural stereotype if you think the threat of "dishonoring his team and country" would prevent Tanaka from turning down an opportunity to make tens of million more dollars in the United States.
 

Hoplite

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Then why has no one done it?
 
This is a simplified version (reasons are much more complicated for high school players). But after Alfonso Soriano violated the newly written Japanese contract agreement and went to MLB despite NPB requesting that MLB teams not recognize him as a free agent, Selig agreed not to recognize players who jump ship, contingent on a posting system. The posting system has been renewed an a yearly basis up until this point. If negotiations now break down and the system is not renewed, there would be nothing to stop Japanese players from violating their contracts, just like they did before the posting system was in place. MLB would recognize them as free agents, regardless of NPB's objections just like they did before the posting system.
 
Sorry, that's poorly worded. But I think you get the idea.
 

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Selig wouldn't be going against any agreement. Selig agreed not to recognize rogue NPB players as free agents contingent on this posting system agreement being renewed on a yearly basis. If the posting agreement is not renewed, Selig has no obligation to not recognize rogue NPB players as free agents. MLB has all of the leverage here. There's no danger of good MLB players leaving NPB for more money. This is a one way relationship. If they really gave a crap about pissing off Japan, they wouldn't have allowed Soriano to sign a free agent contract with an MLB team when he broke is Working Agreement with the Hiroshima Carp and NPB petitioned MLB teams not to sign him.
 
I also think you're misinterpreting how the players feel about the posting process. It was rammed down their throats, against the objections of the NPB Player's Association, as were the most recent amendments to the system. At one point the head of the NPBPA compared it to "human trafficking". The players may not see bolting to the United States as disrespecting their country as much as they see it as earning the money they're entitled to.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Jun 26, 2006
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Instead of arguing back and forth lets rejoice for a moment in the fact that the Yankees may be completely and utterly f*cked for the 2014 season.
 
Of course I never get too excited when sh*t like this happens, because it's too good to be true usually.
 

Hoplite

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Oct 26, 2013
1,116
Papelbon's Poutine said:
If you can't see the differences in the individual cases you continue to cite - which apparently you can't - and how they are not applicable to Tanaka given the circumstances involved, then I really don't know what to tell you. Likewise, if you can't see how bad of a move it would be for Selig to allow him to come over without approval and the many, many reasons why that would be a bad move - the legal and financial ramifications, you can start there - well then again, don't know what to tell you.

You can keep throwing shit against the wall, but it's not happening unless they resolve the agreement. You have a direct quote from the COO of MLB telling you that, yet you continue to ignore it. If Selig was prepared to extend a big middle finger to NPB, Manfreds quote would have been "They had their chance to renew. Now the doors open guys, come on in." And NPB would have been on the phone to agree to any terms before the AP had the story on the wire.

As to my interpretations of the players and their feelings about posting, I'd be curious to hear how you've determined they are misguided considering I've typed nary a word regarding that topic. Of course they don't like it. And US players don't like being subject tithe Rule IV draft or arbitration either. Sadly, if they want to play in the league, they have to agree to the terms. Comparing it to human trafficking is a wee bit hyperbolic, no? But hey,agents and union heads don't ever go over the top to benefit the guys they make money off of right?
 
I'm not looking for a fight. I thought it was an interesting hypothetical and wanted to discuss the little bit of precedence there was.
 

Hoplite

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Oct 26, 2013
1,116
StuckOnYouk said:
Instead of arguing back and forth lets rejoice for a moment in the fact that the Yankees may be completely and utterly f*cked for the 2014 season.
 
Of course I never get too excited when sh*t like this happens, because it's too good to be true usually.
 
Yeah, it sounds like both sides are going to get something done.
 


Mark Feinsand        ✔ @FeinsandNYDN
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The MLB/Japan posting process is not in danger of falling apart, per a source. Masahiro Tanaka will be posted this winter. #Yankees
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
41,624
StuckOnYouk said:
Instead of arguing back and forth lets rejoice for a moment in the fact that the Yankees may be completely and utterly f*cked for the 2014 season.
 
Of course I never get too excited when sh*t like this happens, because it's too good to be true usually.
 
If Tanaka played for NY for free next year, this would still be the case. Rejoice away. 
 

Sampo Gida

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Aug 7, 2010
5,006
Hoplite said:
 
MLB has all of the leverage. If NPB doesn't meet their demands on a new posting system, there wouldn't be anything to stop a player from retiring from NPB and signing with an MLB team. That's what happened before the agreement was in place (see Hideo Nomo).
 
But MLB benefits from a posting system as it allows teams to pay Japanese players at below market rates.  Japanese players jumping over as free agents would allow them to seek bids from all 30 teams, and not just 1 team or 3 teams as is being proposed.  Thats a worst case scenario for MLB.
 
The biggest problem with the current posting system is that posting fees have gotten out of hand. The proposed system helps with that, albeit at the cost of higher salaries for the players, which will still be below market value. 
 
Japanese teams were the most satiisfied with the status quo.  Japanese players forced a change.  MLB players are probably happy with the proprosed system since it inflates salaries and puts them more on a level playing field with MLB free agents.  Not quite there, but better.
 
Small market MLB teams will be happy since it improves competive balance by removing an advantage the big market teams have in paying large posting fees to circumvent the luxury tax .  More smaller market teams will be able to participate in the posting process since they won't have to have the top bid and the average of the top 2 bids will be considerable less than the top bid, at least based on previous cases. 
 
The only entity not happy other than the NPB is the big market teams of MLB.  Teams like the Yankees for example.  Instead of getting Tanaka at a 10-12 milion AAV they may be forced to pay over 15 million AAV under the proposed system since they will be competing against 2 other teams, and more than this if Tanaka comes to the US as a free agent.  MLB probably hopes to delay the agreement for 1 year, and agree to maintain the old system for this year to allow the Yankees a clear shot at Tanaka and a lower AAV.  Of course, Tanaka could very well wait till next year if the Yankees try to low ball him, but thats putting the cart before the horse.