Peter Gammons on Rakuten Eagles' owner Hiroshi Mikitani, the new posting system, and Masahiro Tanaka:
... Of course, if such an exhibition were to get into a serious planning stage, Mikitani would have to resolve the issue of the new MLB-NPB posting agreement and whether or not Tanaka will be allowed to come to an American team. The agreement, forged this week, limits posting fees to $20M and allows the posted player to negotiate with all the teams willing to pay $20M for the rights to negotiate. Mikitani is the one Japanese owner who strongly opposed the new agreement, and Wednesday suggested in an interview that he would not post Tanaka, who isn't a free agent for two more years. "It's a terrible deal for a Japanese owner," says one MLB executive. "I don't blame Mikitani."
It just so happens that the 25-year old Tanaka is in the sites of the Yankees, Dodgers and other MLB teams interested in signing him. Because he will not be a free agent until after the 2015 season, he must be posted by Rakuten, and Mikitani Wednesday said, "I don't intend to post him."
Source: Gammons Daily 12/9/2013
Rakuten Eagles' president Yozo Tachibana on Mikitani telling Gammons he does not intend to post Tanaka: "This is not something that the owner and I can decide. This is something for the company to decide."
Tachibana is expected to meet Tanaka at some point after he returns to Japan from his trip to the Winter Meetings in Florida. A meeting likely will not take place until after the new system is officially in place. Tachibana is planning to ask Tanaka to return next season.
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/11/2013
Tanaka spent some time at Kleenex Stadium on Tuesday. Workouts included playing catch for about fifteen minutes -- he threw the ball about fifty times and maxed out the distance at about thirty meters -- and weight training.