Major League Baseball and Japan are nearing a new agreement on the posting system, reports Joel Sherman at the New York Post. Both sides are comfortable a deal will be in place by the beginning of November.
The previous posting agreement expired recently, leaving no system in place for Japanese players who want to come play in the United States before they would officially become a free agent. Under the expired system, interested MLB teams would make blind bids for the right to negotiate a deal with the player. The top bidder gets 30 days to work out a contract. If no deal is agreed upon, the player is returned to his Japan team and the posting bid is refunded.
There is speculation that big changes could be made to the agreement, with potential modifications including a potential cap on how much a team may bid. There could be alterations made that would give the player more of an option as to what team he plays for in the MLB.
Players such as Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish and Norichika Aoki all came to America via the posting system. This year, star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is expected to be posted as soon as a new system is in place and could receive a record bid. Some scouts say Tanaka could be better than Darvish, who has become one of the best pitchers in the majors.