New MLB/NPB Posting Rules

Corsi

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WEDNESDAY: According to a Sanspo report passed along by Newman, NPB officials are planning to accept the $20MM maximum bid and the new posting rules (Twitter link).
 
TUESDAY, 4:50pm: NPB officials are amenable to the idea of a maximum bid, but not the amount which MLB has proposed, according to a Japanese report passed on by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (Twitter link). Major League officials are trying to impose a $20MM limit.
 
12:35am: MLB negotiators' latest proposal for the posting system would establish a maximum bid and include a provision prioritizing teams with low records, Sponichi reports (Japanese link). Under the plan, multiple teams could submit the maximum bid for a player, with negotiating rights going to the club that had the lowest winning precentage that year. Nippon Professional Baseball was scheduled to discuss the proposal in a meeting with the 12 NPB teams on Tuesday.
 
Last month, the two sides nearly reached an agreement that would have seen the Japanese team paid a posting fee equal to the midpoint between the top two bids. However, this arrangement was ultimately rejected by MLB because of opposition by small-market teams, which insisted that the posting fee be counted against the luxury tax.
 
As the article notes, this new proposal and its maximum bid could encourage greater participation among small-market teams. A marquee name like Masahiro Tanaka is all but off-limits for low-revenue clubs under the current system, which can require teams to pay more than $50MM just to get to the negotiating table. Small-market owners are therefore likely to drop their luxury tax-related demands if a scheme that gives priority to lower-ranking teams is on offer, Sponichi reports. However, winning teams are certain to oppose the plan because it would greatly reduce their chances of securing negotiating rights. It's also unclear how the proposal would be received by the 12 Japanese teams, which would appear to gain little by agreeing to a system with a maximum bid.
 
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/latest-on-the-posting-system-negotiations.html

 
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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This, in part, may explain the MFY Ellsbury signing. With the Max rule an easy barrier to reach and the prioritized teams rule it was highly unlikely the Yanks would be getting Tanaka. (The same goes for the Sox of course)

Seems like a slam dunk for Seattle ..
 

nattysez

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How long before we see this?  A week?
 
"In a statement issued by his new agent Scott Boras, Tanaka declared that he would not sign with any team other than the Yankees, Mets, Angels or Dodgers.  'If another team wins the bidding, I will return to the NPB next year.'"  
 

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nattysez said:
How long before we see this?  A week?
 
"In a statement issued by his new agent Scott Boras, Tanaka declared that he would not sign with any team other than the Yankees, Mets, Angels or Dodgers.  'If another team wins the bidding, I will return to the NPB next year.'"
As long as the posting fee is returned to the team if the guy doesn't sign, this shouldn't disincentivize teams from putting up the money at all.

soxhop411 said:
Yahoo and the LA times both said the player gets to choose. So im not sure we know for sure which result it is
If the player gets to choose, its not going to protect the small market teams at all. Why would anybody choose a team that will likely pay them less and give them less media exposure? This might actually help the big market teams vis-a-vis the status quo - they still get the players but don't have to pay as much for the privilege.
 

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I'm not surprised, NPB basically had no leverage. I think it would be a mistake to make the player sign with the team with the worst record, however. There are some small teams (thinking Marlins) that will take advantage of that system.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Hoplite said:
I'm not surprised, NPB basically had no leverage. I think it would be a mistake to make the player sign with the team with the worst record, however. There are some small teams (thinking Marlins) that will take advantage of that system.
I completely disagree with this. By giving the player a choice you completely eliminate small market teams. The player will always pick the team he can get the largest contract from. And all you've done is lower the acquisition cost for the big market teams.
 

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
I completely disagree with this. By giving the player a choice you completely eliminate small market teams. The player will always pick the team he can get the largest contract from. And all you've done is lower the acquisition cost for the big market teams.
That's not necessarily true. The money from the posting fee gets shifted to the contract, and the money in the contract gets counted for luxury tax purposes - which is what small-market teams wanted all along.
 

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So if the Astros were to put in a max bid, would they be able to trade do a sign & trade deal with another club?  Seems like them putting in a max on Tanaka is a no-brainer under these rules.
 
Edit - this is assuming that the player is awarded to the team with the worst record.  Based on the Sherman quote above, it doesn't sound like this is the case
 

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nattysez said:
How long before we see this?  A week?
 
"In a statement issued by his new agent Scott Boras, Tanaka declared that he would not sign with any team other than the Yankees, Mets, Angels or Dodgers.  'If another team wins the bidding, I will return to the NPB next year.'"  
 
This came up during the Dice-K negotiations, and someone pointed out that if the player refused to sign, he would be returning to a very pissed off team whom he had just cost an easy $20 million.  I believe the Seibu Lions had actually raised the idea of sending Matsuzaka to the minors in retaliation if he didn't sign with the Red Sox.
 

Hoplite

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
I completely disagree with this. By giving the player a choice you completely eliminate small market teams. The player will always pick the team he can get the largest contract from. And all you've done is lower the acquisition cost for the big market teams.
 
Small market and losing team aren't synonymous with each other. There are plenty of large and mid-sized market teams who are run very poorly, I don't think they should be rewarded by being granted the only access to players from the NPB. There are other solutions, such as a limit on the posting fee and contract, which would not eliminate small market teams or reward poorly run teams.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Re the Matsuzaka thing and Tanaka, there's a big difference between 20mil and 50mil.  Rakuten and Ma-kun have never been better or more popular; he might be worth more to them by staying onshore if that's all they're going to get.  
 

soxhop411

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Bill Shaikin ‏@BillShaikin2m
Posting proposal: Player can negotiate with all teams that make max bid for rights. That means: FA bidding war!
 
This is the way it should be… IMO
 
 
@Tokyo Sox, You think there is a good chance that they do not post him because of the new rules?
 

Hoplite

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This would give Rakuten very little incentive to post Tanaka. I wonder if the agreement could be grandfathered in.
 

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Answers sure to arrive soon . . . but I'm surmising that in the absence of multiple max bids then the team with the highest bid still gets exclusive rights?
 
If so, that could get interesting. Shoot high on fee, then you can lowball on salary since you're exclusive.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Hoplite said:
 I wonder if the agreement could be grandfathered in.
 
What does this mean?  Like, starting next year with the new agreement, but let MLB teams go crazy with a posting fee for Tanaka this year, as per the old system?  I agree there's much less incentive, but that's never going to happen.
 
 
soxhop411 said:
 
Bill Shaikin ‏@BillShaikin2m
Posting proposal: Player can negotiate with all teams that make max bid for rights. That means: FA bidding war!
 
This is the way it should be… IMO
 
 
I agree, that's probably the way it should be, and this is a reasonable if sudden evolution.  It certainly favors the player much more.  So the NPB PA or whatever they call themselves should be in favor, and most NPB teams should be against it.  But apparently they're not if these reports are correct, so maybe NPB ownership really do feel they have close to zero leverage in the matter.
 
Edit: And soxhop, I think there's a small chance.  After the season he just had, they were probably looking at a fee of at least twice that, maybe as much as the 50+ that Daisuke and Darvish got.  Also, despite MLB having most of the leverage, they still haven't really conducted themselves very professionally here -- NPB announced they would make a decision on the old proposal when the season was over, MLB said nothing, then waited until their old proposal was agreed to before saying "Oh no, we warned you not to take too long on that."  So I think there's a small chance that between that and the much smaller fee -- which a company like Rakuten doesn't need as much as say, Seibu -- that Rakuten tells them to go screw and gets another couple years from Ma-kun.
 

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How does this really help the small market MLB teams? I thought that was part of the reason the system was changed.
 
The Sox the Yanks, all of them will bid 20 mil just to have the right to negotiate with him, no?
 
Not sure what positives I'm seeing for small market teams..
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I don't understand why this is so difficult.  It sounds like there are three objectives:  (I) even the playing field; (ii) get the player a reasonable contract; and (iii) get the posting team a fairly large posting fee.
 
For example, one answer is to have the posting fee be a (large) percentage of the total value contract, but count the posting fee and the contract against the luxury tax.  This would tie the posting fee to the value of the player; it would create disincentives for large market teams to overpay these contracts; and if a large market team goes off the reservation, then the small market teams benefit.
 
There are a lot of different ways to skin this cat.
 

cannonball 1729

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StuckOnYouk said:
How does this really help the small market MLB teams? I thought that was part of the reason the system was changed.
 
The Sox the Yanks, all of them will bid 20 mil just to have the right to negotiate with him, no?
 
Not sure what positives I'm seeing for small market teams..
 
For one thing, it means that the money spent on acquiring the player will actually count toward the luxury tax.  It also means that high-budget teams won't get below-market deals on Japanese players just because they blew everyone away with the posting bid.  I'm not sure it makes a small market team any more likely to get a Japanese player, though.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Is there any reason for a team not to bid $20M? Worst case they are out $20M+league minimum, which would never be accepted by the player anyway.
 

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A lot of confusion from me.
 
1. If multiple teams make a $20M bid, the player gets to negotiate with with every max-bid team? How does that help small markets?
2. Where does the "small market" thing come from. If one team bids $11M and another bids $8M, the player negotiates with the first team only?
2. As stated above, "small market" is different from "shittily-run". Sarasota is a small market but well-run. WTF do they mean when they say "teams with worst record will get first rights?" What if that team doesn't have the highest (<$20M) bid?
 

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cannonball 1729 said:
 
For one thing, it means that the money spent on acquiring the player will actually count toward the luxury tax.  It also means that high-budget teams won't get below-market deals on Japanese players just because they blew everyone away with the posting bid.  I'm not sure it makes a small market team any more likely to get a Japanese player, though.
 
So the posting fee also counts as part of the AAV?
 

soxhop411

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geoduck no quahog said:
A lot of confusion from me.
 
1. If multiple teams make a $20M bid, the player gets to negotiate with with every max-bid team? How does that help small markets?-Yes Every team who bids the max gets "rights" to negotiate  with him… In a way he is a FA so it prevents teams from posting an insane posting fee and then giving the player a really "low" contract, or from blocking teams. So it does not help small market teams
2. Where does the "small market" thing come from. If one team bids $11M and another bids $8M, the player negotiates with the first team only?- If no team bids the max, the team who bids the highest gets exclusive rights,
2. As stated above, "small market" is different from "shittily-run". Sarasota is a small market but well-run. WTF do they mean when they say "teams with worst record will get first rights?" What if that team doesn't have the highest (<$20M) bid?- that was wrong info, winning % has nothing to do with who gets to negotiate
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
I don't understand why this is so difficult.  It sounds like there are three objectives:  (I) even the playing field; (ii) get the player a reasonable contract; and (iii) get the posting team a fairly large posting fee.
 
For example, one answer is to have the posting fee be a (large) percentage of the total value contract, but count the posting fee and the contract against the luxury tax.  This would tie the posting fee to the value of the player; it would create disincentives for large market teams to overpay these contracts; and if a large market team goes off the reservation, then the small market teams benefit.
 
That specific example sounds like it would necessarily result in a massively below-market contract for the player, in some cases probably less than they could make domestically.
 
 
Dernells Casket n Flagon said:
Is there any reason for a team not to bid $20M? Worst case they are out $20M+league minimum, which would never be accepted by the player anyway.
 
It's supposed to be a "good faith" negotiation.  If any team is seen to be sabotaging the process with no intention to sign a player, just to block him from signing elsewhere, there will likely be punitive measures taken against that team by MLB.
 

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cannonball 1729 said:
 
For one thing, it means that the money spent on acquiring the player will actually count toward the luxury tax.  It also means that high-budget teams won't get below-market deals on Japanese players just because they blew everyone away with the posting bid.  I'm not sure it makes a small market team any more likely to get a Japanese player, though.
 
 
wade boggs chicken dinner said:
I don't understand why this is so difficult.  It sounds like there are three objectives:  (I) even the playing field; (ii) get the player a reasonable contract; and (iii) get the posting team a fairly large posting fee.
 
For example, one answer is to have the posting fee be a (large) percentage of the total value contract, but count the posting fee and the contract against the luxury tax.  This would tie the posting fee to the value of the player; it would create disincentives for large market teams to overpay these contracts; and if a large market team goes off the reservation, then the small market teams benefit.
 
There are a lot of different ways to skin this cat.
 
 
StuckOnYouk said:
 
So the posting fee also counts as part of the AAV?
The posting fee WILL NOT count against the Lux tax, they said that will not happen until the current CBA is up as the players and owners would have to agree to it
 

nattysez

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Passan is now saying on Twitter that every team that has the highest bid (whatever it is) gets to negotiate w/ the player.  If that's true, Tanaka's going to have 15 suitors at $20mm (I'd guess) and can take his pick.
 

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soxhop411 said:
The posting fee WILL NOT count against the Lux tax, they said that will not happen until the current CBA is up as the players and owners would have to agree to it
 
Thanks for that.  Everyone kept saying it, I was thinking I'd missed a story somewhere. 
 

Joe D Reid

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The small market teams aren't trying to make it more likely that they will win an NPB auction; they are trying to make it so that a greater percentage of the overall package paid by the likely big-market winner counts towards the tax, which in turn increases the size of their revenue sharing check. They are just grubbing for a few extra bucks, which I guess you can't blame them for.
 

StuckOnYouk

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OK, so I'm only looking at this as how do the Yankees get f*cked.
 
Basically they will likely offer the most money per year unless it interferes with this alleged 189 figure. So where as by posting an insane bid of lets say 80 mil and winning sole rights and then giving him a 6 year/80 mil deal, now with 10 teams in on it or so, the Yankees may have to give go longer with more money per.
 
I still think they'll land him I want to make it more punitive for them at least. 
 

soxhop411

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StuckOnYouk said:
OK, so I'm only looking at this as how do the Yankees get f*cked.
 
Basically they will likely offer the most money per year unless it interferes with this alleged 189 figure. So where as by posting an insane bid of lets say 80 mil and winning sole rights and then giving him a 6 year/80 mil deal, now with 10 teams in on it or so, the Yankees may have to give go longer with more money per.
 
I still think they'll land him I want to make it more punitive for them at least. 
David Waldstein ‏@DavidWaldstein4h
Source: Combination of Ellsbury signing and uncertainty over what new posting system will be means that Tanaka now very iffy for Yankees.
David Waldstein ‏@DavidWaldstein59m
But this also hurts the Yankees for Tanaka in 2014 because instead of tax-free posting fee of say $50 mil with $50 mil contract.
David Waldstein ‏@DavidWaldstein58m
say they bid $20 million and Tanaka wants $80 million contract. That $80 million counts against the luxury tax.
 
Would not shock me if a team like the cubs sign him.  Or even the Sox 
 

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StuckOnYouk said:
 
So the posting fee also counts as part of the AAV?
 
No.  But a max fee takes about $30 million or so that would normally go to the team and gives it to the player instead.
 

TOleary25

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StuckOnYouk said:
OK, so I'm only looking at this as how do the Yankees get f*cked.
 
Basically they will likely offer the most money per year unless it interferes with this alleged 189 figure. So where as by posting an insane bid of lets say 80 mil and winning sole rights and then giving him a 6 year/80 mil deal, now with 10 teams in on it or so, the Yankees may have to give go longer with more money per.
 
I still think they'll land him I want to make it more punitive for them at least. 
 
Definitely hurts the Yankees chances if they are indeed trying to stay under 189 while still bringing Cano back. I bet Tanaka gets 6 yrs/$15M per and possibly more if teams consider him the best option on the market. I think it probably heightens the Sox interest in him as well. Not a very big posting fee for the Sox to make and not many long term commitments in the rotation currently.
 

soxhop411

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Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo2m
Not only are Rakuten Golden Eagles opposed to ever-changing US posting rules, but tonight leaning against posting Tanaka, period.
 
Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan4m
In the story is concern from one official who believes MLB could be encouraging Japanese teams to hold onto players because $20M is too low.
 
MLB may have F***ed this up
 

TOleary25

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soxhop411 said:
 
Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo2m
Not only are Rakuten Golden Eagles opposed to ever-changing US posting rules, but tonight leaning against posting Tanaka, period.
 
Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan4m
In the story is concern from one official who believes MLB could be encouraging Japanese teams to hold onto players because $20M is too low.
 
MLB may have F***ed this up
 
 
Kind of odd that the NPB agreed to $20M cap if they thought it was going to be an issue
 

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What they should do is make every team that posts the bid to actually have to pony up the money just for the right to negotiate. So 5 teams bid $20 million?  The Japanese club gets $100 million.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

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What a shitshow. MLB is the greatest league in the world and should be encouraging the best talent to play in it.

This will have a chilling effect on getting the best Japanese talent stateside until after they become free agents in Japan.

I guess it will be like what has happened with domestic free agency over the past few years; only the top talent who are past their prime (29-32) will be available.
 

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TOleary25 said:
 
Kind of odd that the NPB agreed to $20M cap if they thought it was going to be an issue
 
Perhaps NPB was tired of having its players leave for MLB and decided to limit the appeal of posting players.
 

Tokyo Sox

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soxhop411 said:
 
Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo2m
Not only are Rakuten Golden Eagles opposed to ever-changing US posting rules, but tonight leaning against posting Tanaka, period.
 
Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan4m
In the story is concern from one official who believes MLB could be encouraging Japanese teams to hold onto players because $20M is too low.
 
MLB may have F***ed this up
 
 
That combo of quotes is what I was talking about - the Gammo one about the "ever-changing" rules gets at what I would imagine to be NPB's indignation with the way MLB has conducted themselves.
 
 
Ananti said:
What they should do is make every team that posts the bid to actually have to pony up the money just for the right to negotiate. So 5 teams bid $20 million?  The Japanese club gets $100 million.
 
That's actually a great idea.  They could probably afford to make the max even lower in that case, too.  Like, $5~8mm that doesn't have to count towards the luxury tax.  Plenty of teams would get involved if they thought they had a real chance to sign him, and any Japanese team would be fine with $50++m.
 

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If I'm Rakuten I'd rather hold onto Tanaka until he reaches free agency than post him for a $20M return. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they decide not to post him this winter now that they can only get $20M for him instead of the $60M or so they had to be expecting under the old rules.
 

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nattysez said:
Passan is now saying on Twitter that every team that has the highest bid (whatever it is) gets to negotiate w/ the player.  If that's true, Tanaka's going to have 15 suitors at $20mm (I'd guess) and can take his pick.
 
Maybe I missed it, but perhaps one advantage for the teams in Japan is that every MLB team that puts the max bid in sees their bid money go to Japan, even if they don't end up signing the player.  So instead of the Japanese team getting just one big bid, they end up collecting on, say, 5-8 $20 million bids.  Thus, more money to Japan overall. 
 
(EDIT:  Or what Ananti said.  Damn, I have to read the thread all the way through next time….idiot!)
 
If I'm at least a decent-sized major league market, the $20 million to get me to the dance may still be worth it.  Of course, the advantage still goes to the big boys, NY especially.
 

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Tokyo Sox said:
 
That combo of quotes is what I was talking about - the Gammo one about the "ever-changing" rules gets at what I would imagine to be NPB's indignation with the way MLB has conducted themselves.
 
 m.
The whole thing feels more like a game of Calvinball then the way a professional league should conduct itself. And the fact that these "rules" all come down after it's clear that the whole thing is about Tanaka makes it even worse. I wouldn't post him.
 

FanSinceBoggs

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The Red Sox have to make the 20 million bid, right?  If they don't sign him, they lose nothing, and so why not do it?  By bidding the maximum, the Red Sox are involved in the negotiations.  We can safely assume that the Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers will bid 20 million, as well as many other teams.
 
 I wouldn't post him.
 
 
20 million is still a lot of money and so I presume they will post him.
 

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FanSinceBoggs said:
 
 
20 million is still a lot of money and so I presume they will post him.
 
It's a lot of money, but at the same time... they have a payroll roughly the same as the Houston Astros. If the Astros had the best player in baseball under contract and were defending world series champions would they sell him for $20M?