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Rakuten insists that it has still not decided whether or not its posting Mashiro Tanaka

Dec 20, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka AP

Despite yesterday’s reports that the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided not to post Masahiro Tanaka, the team insists that it is still having internal discussions on the matter and has not made a decision one way or another.

There is no timetable for decision, and players can be posted up until February 1. While it’s unlikely that Rakuten will dilly dally that long, it’s thus theoretically possible that we won’t know where Tanaka is playing until around the time pitchers and catchers report, assuming maximum negotiating time and all of that.

Stay tuned for additional reports. Which, given how things have gone, will almost certainly contradict previous reports and then will be subsequently contradicted themselves.

  1. sdelmonte - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Maybe MLB should set an earlier deadline going forward?

  2. doctornature - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I think the Rakuten front office is having a big belly laugh at MLB’s expense, as their way of shooting the finger at the new $20 mil posting fee limit. You know they are pissed, because that decision cost them probably at LEAST 50 million….and maybe as much as 75 mil.

    Back and forth they go, where the stop nobody knows. All the while, Garza, Ubaldo, Santana, and multiple teams are waiting breathless by a phone that never rings.

    And here we sit, reading a new story that contradicts yesterday’s, which contradicted the day before’s….

    Geez, I wish i had a life

    • cackalackyank - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      Yes, you could argue that Rakuten is out 50-75 million by the posting system change, however, in two years he is gone now for sure and they will get ZERO! Instead they are trying to keep him at 8 million per. 8+8+20= -36 million. Instead of +20 million from the posting fee. The only possible explanation possible for not posting him is that Tanaka is the only thing that puts butts in the seats for them.

  3. billybawl - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Is there a rule in place that would stop Tanaka from buying his way out of his Rakuten contract?

  4. rev0jc - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    MLB truly botched this one with their wanton disregard for the validity of the NPB League and its own obsession with creating a economic (pseudo) parity structure to ensure small market teams get the advantages supposedly only available to bigger market clubs.

    What nonsensical logic caused them to believe that a culture rooted in the display of respect and a team representing a region recovering from one of the worst tragedies in modern history, would simply bow down and accept the diminished agreement to strip the league of not only it’s most recognizable star but to reduce the reward incentive to go along with the talent pilfering???

    The Golden Eagles just won its FIRST championship with this remarkable phenom pitching an UNDEFEATED season and then adding to his lore with a world class playoff performance where he saved the title game the day after he rung out a 160 pitch outing – this kid is a SERIOUS gamer!!! The team just struck pay dirt and figured that they will offset his revenue loss with a significant posting windfall.

    Then MLB comes along and blindsides NPB with this new structure and thinks it will be acceptable and not create the murky, phallus-wagging standoff we have witnessed for the last month+. Obviously, Uncle Bud and the Castaways at MLB HQ are guilty of some serious mental insufficiency (or other nefarious deeds).

    Seriously lost in this is how special this young man is. I mean let’s consider what he did not just this season (24-0, 1.27 ERA, 0.943 WHIP) but over his NPB career (99-35 lifetime with a 2.30 ERA/1.108 WHIP). OMG(oodness)!!! This kid is the real McCoy regardless of whatever league he’s pitching in.

    We don’t have any MiLB’ers pumping out stats like that in the States, so let’s stop the demeaning reference about the NPB being grossly inferior to MLB – they may not be on an even par, but they’re certainly better than our AAA structure. Moreover this is a special kid with a fantastic gift and skill set that wants to do what every athlete wants – to compete against the best and prove he belongs. Both MLB and NPB (particularly the Golden Eagles) need to exercise some temperance in helping foster the dreams of these stellar athletes, not treat them like chattel to be bought and sold at market.

    Just let the kid pursue his dreams and ambitions and play wherever he wants to challenge himself. He has certainly earned that right. As a baseball purist, I for one want to always see the best play against the best, so let’s just allow the kid the chance to prove he has the stuff that made Gibson, Koufax, Ryan, Seaver, Richard, Gooden, Maddux, Martinez, Johnson and Halladay household names as feared SP’s.

    So how about some good ol’ Asian “face saving”, huh? I would suggest something of a “reboot” or simple amendment to the newly ratified agreement that essentially spreads the benefits evenly across the board. Small market teams get to post with the Big Boys; NPB teams get fair compensation for releasing their stars early and players get to play amongst their true peers.

    My solution goes like this: Let’s have all posting teams agree to a percentage of the posting to be surrendered as a non-refundable deposit. It creates a “pay to play” structure. So, if 10 teams were to bid on Tanaka at the $20M cap and a 15% deposit is deemed non-refundable for the teams that don’t win the negotiations, here is the upside:

    9 @ $3M (15%) = $27M

    1 @ $20M = $20M

    Total Posting Revenue (Rakuten): $47M

    It’s fair and equitable while giving all the small market teams the ability to bid on securing the rights to negotiate with a star talent. The deposit is a pittance compared to what MLB teams spend on player costs (i.e. barely the salary of a below average utility player).

    Let’s unblock the logjam and make this lil’ tweak so everyone saves face and the Hot Stove gets fired up properly.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      I’d ask if you realized that the NPB agreed to this posting fee change, but considering how you are just blaming MLB for it then I’d guess you didn’t.

      • cackalackyank - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        Exactly. Rakuten is the ONLY NPB team that did not agree to the new system.

  5. favrewillplay4ever - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I see what they did there.. Trying to get a ball club to give them an under the table deal in addition to the posting fee. Very sneaky!

  6. cackalackyank - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    This is like the guy that doesn’t eat enough fiber getting to the only toilet before the guy with diarrhea. As in, ***t, or get off the pot!

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