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SBD Global/November 18, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB's Small-Market Teams Propose Altering Japanese Player Posting System

A last-minute dispute “placed the new posting system for Japanese players in jeopardy” as small-market teams in Major League Baseball "tried to put into effect a rule that would inhibit big-market teams, particularly the Yankees, from spending large sums on prospective Japanese stars," according to David Waldstein of the N.Y. TIMES. A new deal is “still expected to emerge in time for teams to make posting offers" on players, including pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, this offseason. If it does not, Japanese teams “could allow their players to negotiate with specific teams they choose and then receive some kind of compensation from the major league team, perhaps in the form of a joint cooperation agreement.” Sources said that Pirates President Frank Coonelly this week at the GM meetings in Orlando “proposed that the posting fee, which can exceed $50 million for a top player, should count against the bidding team’s luxury-tax figure.” Waldstein noted the proposal “seemed to be aimed directly at the Yankees, who are planning to bid for Tanaka but are also concerned about staying under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold.” Yankees President Randy Levine “objected to Coonelly’s proposal and asked rhetorically if other rules for international player procurement -- like the way Cuban stars have been signed -- should be changed midstream as well” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/15).
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