Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball announced a three-year agreement on a new posting system for Japanese players who have not reached free agency.
The new agreement will bring drastic change to the previous posting system. Before, NPB teams would post players who wanted to make the move to MLB. MLB teams would then place blind bids with the highest-bidder winning exclusive negotiating rights. There was no cap on the bids, with Texas' $51.7 million bid to negotiate with Yu Davish the record.
That will all change now. Under the new agreement, NPB teams will set a release fee of no more than $20 million. For a period of 30 days, any MLB team willing to pay the release fee will be able to negotiate with the posted player. If a deal is reached, the MLB team will then pay the NBP club the designated release fee. If no deal is reached during the 30 days, the player will return to his NPB team and can be posted again the following season.
The new system may be put to the test quickly with a number of MLB teams reportedly interested in Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. It's unclear, however, if Tanaka will be posted this season. According to a recent report, there is chance Tanaka could stay with the Rakuten Eagles for at least another season.