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[9/17/2013] New posting system rules could become a lot more player friendly

by on Sep.17, 2013 @ 3:17 pm, under NPB

From a Newsday article by David Lennon, posted on September 14:

Multiple sources told Newsday that significant changes to the current posting system for Japanese players seem to be imminent and could take effect as soon as this November. That would enable the next coveted Japanese ace, Masahiro Tanaka of the Rakuten Golden Eagles, to benefit from an expanded -- and presumably more player-friendly -- process should he follow through on his reported desire to play in the United States next season.

... according to sources, one of the proposals for a new system would have as many as three teams chosen among the top bidders, with the Japanese player then allowed to choose the club he'd prefer to play for and negotiate with.

... But there's many conflicting interests at work here. For one, the NPB teams want some sort of protection so their star players don't simply bolt for the majors, keep draining the Japanese talent pool and weaken their league. At least with a posting fee, there is compensation for that, and a club that is struggling financially can receive a boost by a player's departure.

For the players, obviously, it feels like an unfair labor practice. The Yankees' Hiroki Kuroda waited those nine years before leaving the Hiroshima Carp to sign with the Dodgers in 2008, but he acknowledges the combative forces at work between the players and teams. He said the posting system is like Japanese teams "selling'' players to the majors, and if the proposed changes go through, it would enable a freer exchange between the two leagues.

In addition, by expanding the number of major-league teams available to pick from -- rather than awarding the sole rights to the highest bidder -- it prevents clubs that have no legitimate interest in a player from blocking others that want to sign him. Currently, a team can offer an overly inflated bid, then not make a sincere effort to sign the player, who then would just return to his Japanese team.

Source: Newsday 9/14/2013 via Sponichi 9/17/2013