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[11/13/2013] Updates on Masahiro Tanaka and the new posting system

by on Nov.13, 2013 @ 2:39 pm, under MLB, NPB

News and notes on the posting system and Masahiro Tanaka:

  • The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) is slated to make a decision on the new posting system today.  They have been contacting individual player chairmen from each of the twelve NPB teams since the night of the 11th, beginning with JPBPA player chairman Motohiro Shima.  The final decision will be based on those discussions.  [ZakZak 11/13/2013]
  • There is a good chance Tanaka will speak to team president Yozo Tachibana at some point during the Asia Series.  Assuming the new posting system is in place, Tanaka could be posted at any time after the team returns on the 21st. [ZakZak 11/13/2013]
  • Both Tanaka and Tachibana have denied that there will be any discussions during the Asia Series.  Tanaka told reporters that his posting discussions would have to wait until everything was over. [Sports Hochi 11/13/2013]
  • According to Daily Sports, Tanaka may not hold discussions with the Eagles until some time on or after the 25th (the day after the team's victory parade). [Daily Sports 11/13/2013] ... Sponichi feels talks might take place sometime on or after the 22nd (the day after the team returns from the Asia Series). [Sponichi 11/13/2013]
  • Tachibana does not understand the timing of the JPBPA's refusal since they could have easily spoken up a lot sooner.  He is also not sure what to think of the JPBPA's decision to make a decision based on Tanaka's opinion, since it places a lot of pressure on him. [Sponichi 11/13/2013]
  • The JPBPA could risk losing a lot by allowing the new posting system to pass, but they also may not want to be the reason why Tanaka cannot post, if it comes down to that. [ZakZak 11/13/2013]
  • The MLBPA is apparently entirely against allowing posted players the ability to negotiate with multiple teams and is prepared to turn down any agreement that includes that kind of wording.  Ultimately the JPBPA may have thought they had a little more leverage in negotiations before they realized they did not. [Gendai 11/12/2013]
  • There may be some in the JPBPA that want to continue fighting, but not at the expense of Tanaka. [Sports Hochi 11/13/2013]

From the NY Post's Joel Sherman:

... Officials from multiple clubs expected to try to land Tanaka told me they are extremely concerned about how hard he was pushed to help his Rakuten Golden Eagles win a championship. It is possible this was brinksmanship to scare off suitors or an early form of negotiations to lower the eventual payout.

However, I spoke to these officials individually, not collectively, and I did sense genuine worry Tanaka threw four complete games in five postseason starts plus relieved twice, including throwing 15 pitches to earn the save in the decisive game 24 hours after expending 160 pitches in a start.

... Also, the heavy workload is not going to curtail a group of ambitious bidders led probably by the Yankees and Dodgers, but also likely to include the Angels, Diamondbacks and several others.

Still, an executive from another interested club said, "To get this deal done, [Tanaka] is going to have to take the most thorough physical ever, get shot full of dye so a team here can really know as much as possible about his shoulder and elbow. It does not seem impossible to me that you can have a team win the post and then not like what they see and just not sign [Tanaka]."

Source: NY Post 11/12/2013

From ESPN's Jerry Crasnick:

... In our annual ESPN.com Hot Stove survey, we touched base with 21 general managers, assistant GMs, player personnel people and scouts and sought their opinion on seven prominent questions that will make news over the next three months.

... 5. Which team will sign Japanese free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka? Does he get more than Yu Darvish's $60 million deal with Texas?

Responses: Los Angeles Dodgers 9; New York Yankees 6; San Francisco Giants 1; Chicago Cubs 1; Toronto Blue Jays 1; Seattle Mariners 1. Two executives declined to guess Tanaka's destination. Of the 21 execs surveyed, all but a handful think his payout will surpass Darvish's deal with the Rangers.

... "Market forces are working in his favor," a National League official said. "It is a small sample, but the recent track record of players with a similar background has an effect. On top of that, at least on the surface, you have two financial heavyweights in the Yankees and Dodgers going at it on this one player."

Source: ESPN 11/11/2013

===

A quick observation: the question that has yet to be answered is what team owner Hiroshi Mikitani wants to do.  The team ultimately has the right to turn down Tanaka's request to post.  If Mikitani does not want Tanaka to go, he could just as easily stop it from happening.  For those that talk about the money the team can stand to lose by not posting Tanaka: the team has a much better chance at winning a second championship if he stays.  The amount of money and publicity he can pull in if the teams repeats will be worth a lot more than what he posts for, not just for the organization, but also for the whole of the Tohoku region (economic impact).  Additionally, how much do the Eagles stand to lose by posting Tanaka?

The nice thing to do would be to post Tanaka.  But the right thing to do, at least from a business perspective, may be wait one more year.