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[12/5/2013] Rakuten planning to hold internal discussions to determine if makes sense to post Tanaka

by on Dec.06, 2013 @ 12:50 am, under NPB

Rakuten Eagles President Yozo Tachibana spoke to the media on Thursday and mentioned a few things in relation to the new posting system agreement.  Below are quotes taken from various sources.

"We have not received official word about the new agreement."

"Whether this is a fair amount for one pitcher, this is something we need to explain to the stockholders.  Is that number fair?  Is that methodology right?  I think it will be important to make sure the fans understand."

"We are obligated to provide an explanation to stockholders and fans about whether or not this is a fair deal.  We have to discuss this, and the methodology, internally."

"There is a chance we will not take the next step."

"There is a range we feel is appropriate.  If the fans and everyone feels [the deal is not] reasonable, then there is a chance we can not move on to the next step."

"I will talk [to Tanaka] at least once [before I leave for the winter meetings in the US and he leaves for the championship trip to Hawaii]."

"We will talk to Tanaka once the agreement becomes official."

To clarify the quotes above, the Eagles are planning to hold internal discussions to see if makes sense to post Tanaka under the new rules.  They also plan to take fan sentiment into consideration.  It is possible they may decide not to post Tanaka.

Incidentally, Yu Darvish tweeted that it might be difficult for the Eagles to post Tanaka at two billion yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/5/2013, Sponichi 12/5/2013, Jiji Press 12/5/2013

12 comments on “[12/5/2013] Rakuten planning to hold internal discussions to determine if makes sense to post Tanaka

  1. Burly

    Frankly, if I were a decision-maker for the Golden Eagles, I wouldn’t post Masahiro Tananka this off-season for $20 million. Unless he suffers a major arm injury, he’ll command the same $20 million next off-season, no matter how he pitches in NPB in 2014. It seems to me the Golden Eagles should have tried harder to get a Tanaka-only exception to the new posting fee cap, either allowing for unlimited bids for Tanaka only or at least a much higher cap ($35 to 50 million) that the Golden Eagles could live with in exchange for giving up the best player in NPB.

  2. Chris

    Yeaaaahhh, the point was, you post the guy because he’ll just be leaving in another year or two and you can make some cash. But $20mm? That really isn’t that much.

  3. DrM

    Agreed, posting Tanaka would have been how Rakuten paid to completely retool their whole roster. Giving him up for just 20 million isn’t what one can call a good deal.

    Sure, the Eagles would get twenty million bucks, but that isnt enough to replace Tanaka as well as improve the team in other ways. The pitcher they are giving up is worth way more than the amount they would get for him from this system.

    When the proposed system was to be about getting the $100 million posting fee, it was worth it to give up the best pitcher in NPB as that money meant they could afford to replace him AND improve in other places.

    To put it another way, I suspect no MLB team would give up Tanaka for a twenty million dollar cash payment if they were in Rakutens position!

    Bud Selig handled this the same way he has handled every other MLB decision… badly. Its a rule that will keep Tanaka in Japan for at least two more season. Could be good for NPB though, they get to keep their best players!

    1. muratafan

      This really puts Rakuten in a tough, tough spot.

      Keep Tanaka and he might get injured => Rakuten looks AWFUL….and Rakuten doesn’t get $20 million.

      Keep Tanaka and he still is a stud for one more year=> rakuten gets $20 million, just a year later.

      So, the risk/reward is risking an injury to Tanaka and losing out on $20 million, while maybe getting very good attendance, another run at an NPB title and some more ticket sales for 2014.

      I really, really don’t like this situation, but if I am Rakuten, take the $20million right now, resign McGehee and use some of the $20million that’s left to sign Wakui and/or upgrade Miyagi Stadium.

      1. Steve Novosel

        I think Tanaka is worth way more than $10M/yr to Rakuten over the next 2 years, assuming no injuries. Higher attendance, more wins, more merch sales, much more likely chance at a playoff spot. With no Tanaka and no McGehee next year, how competitive will they be? With Tanaka, they’ll surely be right back in the mix.

        Getting rid of Tanaka for $10M/yr is basically hanging a big sign on your stadium that says “We don’t really care about winning the title this year.” Signing Wakui to replace Tanaka is like hanging a sign that says “we don’t really care about winning a title this year OR team chemistry”, and I say that as someone deeply ambivalent about the imminent prospect of Wakui signing on his team.

        1. muratafan

          I guess my thinking is that should Tanaka get injured, Tanaka is a very popular player, who has stated many time publicly his desire to play in the majors and many fans simply won’t like the fact that Tanaka didn’t get his opportunity in MLB.

          It seems that, increasingly, NPB fans (not Gaijin NPB fans) are very happy to see their players go to MLB. In the case of Nomo, there was some backlash initially, but after Ichiro, Matsui, etc.. the movement to MLB hasn’t hurt either the player’s popularity or NPB’s popularity. Darvish is a very good example: rock-star before going to MLB, rock-star after going to MLB. Nippon Ham Fighters did well in the first year of Darvish’s absence, not so much in the second year. And….attendance really wasn’t affected.

          In terms of Rakuten, this is a pretty unique situation in that I can see how it would likely negatively impact attendance at Eagles’ games and in a material way. He actually MAY be worth more than $10m to keep this year. The other thing is that the TIMING for Tanaka’s departure couldn’t be better: he gave his all and Rakuten won it all. If he comes back next year, what does he have to prove? I am a HUGE Rakuten fan (my wife’s maiden name is Murata 0 hence the name. Not a Giants fan at all!!) and I admit mixed emotions on this one.

          1. IM

            I’m a Gaijin NPB fan who is very happy when NPB players come to the MLB. But in this case I think Rakuten should hang on to Tanaka for at least another year, despite the injury concerns, he’s too valuable. If they let him go, the MLB wins in every way, if they keep him, they can at least hope that the system will be changed again. I’m happy that the player will be able choose who to sign with, but I think that’s only if they have two or more bids of the same amount. Most of the position players haven’t been getting $20 million bids, so I don’t think it would really help them. This is a pretty one-sided agreement.

      2. Steve Novosel

        As you said, it’s a horrible spot to be in. Especially when you consider the organization would have been in like for 3x that posting fee a few weeks ago.

        The only bright spot is (hopefully) better freedom of movement for the player with multiple competing bids. MAYBE.

  4. Jays fan

    Well, it once again shows how unfair the 9 year free agency rule is in Japan. Tanaka has done everything they asked him to do – even putting his arm in jeopardy by pitching on short rest – yet they’ll still try to squeeze every last yen out of him. Nothing short if indentured slavery, IMHO.

    1. Steve Novosel

      Indentured slavery? If he stays, he’ll be the best paid player in Japan. If he leaves, he’ll be one of the best paid players in the world. Some slavery.

      Why do you say the 9 year FA rule is unfair and not 8, or 7?

  5. DrM

    I recall before the end of the previous agreement, MLB teams were lining up to pay the 100 million posting fee. I think its unlikely Rakuten accepts an offer that is at least 80% less than his value.

    I am surprised NPB agreed to this, MLB may have taken advantage of NPB not having a strong commissioner to negotiate and that let MLB get the best of the posting system for American teams.

    Its an insult to the team with the best pitcher in NPB to give him up for cheap. The Dodgers wouldnt take $20 mil to part with kershaw, the Rangers wouldnt take it to give up Darvish. Isn’t Tanaka on par with them? I think so. The value of a great pitcher is way more than the money the Eagles could get.

    FIX It?
    To fix the arrangement, I say they could allow the NPB team posting the player keep the money from each MLB team that posts 20 million, and let the player choose among the posting teams who he wants to play for. The better players like Tanaka would bring in 20 million per team that wanted to have a chance to sign him, which could be even more than the previous 100 million.

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