Major League Baseball and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball are nearing an agreement on a new posting system and could announce the changes on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
The new agreement will apparently still award exclusive negotiating rights to the highest bidder, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, but that club will only be on the hook for a posting fee equaling the average of the two highest bids. That solution replaces the old system, which did not protect against teams placing outrageous bids for the sole purpose of not allowing other clubs to negotiate.
Such a scenario isn't as likely to happen under the proposed overhaul, but it is still technically possible. Because of that, the Japanese players' union would like a penalty fee assessed for MLB teams that are unable to come to terms on a contract, according to Sports Nippon (translated by MLB Trade Rumors).
The Japanese players' union also pushed for the ability for posted players to negotiate with more than one team. That could be where rumored system of involving the three highest-bidding teams in the negotiations came from.
Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish has attracted the highest winning bid since the posting system was implemented in December 1998. Texas bid more than $51.7 million to negotiate with Darvish and came to terms on a six-year, $60 million deal. Masahiro Tanaka is the most highly touted pitcher to come out of NPB since Darvish, and the 25-year-old hurler could command a much higher posting fee -- perhaps as high as $75 million, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.