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Talks regarding changes to the Japanese player posting system have hit a snag

Nov 14, 2013, 8:40 PM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka AP

We heard more details on proposed changes to the Japanese player posting system earlier this week, but it’s not a done deal yet. In fact, Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer, indicated today that an agreement is not close.

Barry M. Bloom of has the details from Orlando, Florida:

“What I would tell you is that we made a proposal to the Japanese,” Manfred said at the end of the year’s final quarterly Owners Meetings. “When we made that proposal, we told them it was important that they give us a timely response. Unfortunately, they have not been able to do that.”

MLB waited several weeks for approval of its proposal by Japanese baseball officials, but sentiment among a growing number of Major League owners has turned to ending the posting system entirely.

“In today’s meeting there was discussion that will require us to go back to the Japanese and have some further conversation about the proposal we made to them,” Manfred said. “It sat out there for a long time. They couldn’t give us an answer and we’re going to have to go back to them and talk to them about where we are right now.”

According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, the snag isn’t from the Japanese side of things, but rather that small market MLB teams want the posting fee for players to count toward the luxury tax. This would be relevant to the Yankees and their goal to stay under $189 million in payroll next season, as they are expected to be one of the highest bidders on Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka when he’s posted this winter. However, as Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News points out, this would require reopening the collective bargaining agreement to change the rules. And that’s not going to happen.

It should be noted that both Waldstein and Feinsand expect that something will eventually be worked out and that Tanaka will be posted at some point this winter, but it will be interesting to see if the timing of the posting will have an impact on offseason plans. Putting all of your eggs in the Tanaka basket could be risky once significant free agent starting pitchers begin to come off the board.

  1. chill1184 - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Certainly would make the Japanese market a much more fair playing field for the small and mid market teams but yea, you cant just change the boat while in mid-stream.

  2. Zach Chong - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Reblogged this on The Sports Sources Collector.

  3. showtimefolks007 - Nov 14, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    One way or another he is becoming a Yankee

  4. jwbiii - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    The Japanese Players Association has already approved the proposed agreement. Awkward.

  5. spc7ray - Nov 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    In all fairness they are right–But as usual business isn’t fair very often–Look at the GOP–Fair? Yeah right!–Simple–they are right this should count against them–nuff said–Oh and Im a Dodgers fan-I still want them to sign him also

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