[11/6/2013] New posting system agreement to be delayed, Rakuten’s discussions with Tanaka also pushed back
The NPB and MLB are close to finalizing a new posting system agreement. There were reports about the two sides making a joint announcement about the new agreement some time after the Nippon Series. But on November 1, the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) submitted their opinion in writing to the NPB and claimed that the new changes made little sense for the players and NPB teams.
The NPB cannot sign the new agreement until the twelve NPB teams and JPBPA have given their approval.
The biggest question that remains now is what happens to Masahiro Tanaka.
The Rakuten Eagles have already told reporters they will not talk to Tanaka about the Majors until they have had a chance to review the finalized posting agreement. Team president Yozo Tachibana told reporters on Tuesday that he had heard about the delays and that there was a chance the agreement might not be ready until after the Asia Series (November 20). The Eagles also have Fan Appreciation Day on the 23rd and the team parade on the 24th. This could potentially push discussions back to the end of November, or early December, assuming the new agreement is in place by then.
It should be noted that the JPBPA is unhappy that players are still only allowed to negotiate with one team under the new agreement. They even went so far as to say that it would be better to continue under the previous agreement than sign the new agreement into action.
UPDATE 11/7 10:03am -
The JPBPA likes the idea where posted players have the option to negotiate with a number of teams (for example, the top three bidders), but it was apparently struck down by the MLB and MLBPA out of concern that it could drive player salaries up.
UPDATE 11/8 1:00am -
According Sports Hochi, under the new agreement, teams that fail to sign players they won rights to will be fined up to two million US dollars (Nikkan Sports says fines will be about 2.5% of the posting fee). All money will go to the MLB.
The NPB is fine with the new agreement and will try to get the JPBPA to agree before the end of the month. However, the players do not see the new agreement as an improvement over the previous agreement because they feel it does not address the problems.
Sponichi has posted a brief conversation the media had with Tanaka on Tuesday.
With regards to the discussions you had about playing in the Majors last year, what are your current thoughts?
I cannot really comment on that right now.
When will you meet with the team?
This time, that time... There is really no set time.
How do you currently feel?
I will be able to say everything once I have spoken my mind to the team.
Are you interested in what happens to the new posting agreement?
Have your feelings about the Majors changes after winning a championship?
I can not really say. I am just relieved it is over. I had the WBC so this year was long. I just want to relax.
There are some that are worried about how you pitched on consecutive days.
Well, here I am just doing stuff as I usually do. I have nothing to say.
Source: Sponichi 11/6/2013