There may or may not be an agreement between Major League Baseball and NPB as far as a new posting system goes. A few days ago it was reported that the two had reached an agreement, but were just waiting to sign the final deal. Berselius wrote about this potential deal a few days ago.
Anyway, the big issue is what will happen when the inevitable tied bid pops up. Japanese reports yesterday suggested that it would go to the team with the worst record the previous year, which ew. The LA Times's Bill Shaikin claims that the player could choose which of the teams to negotiate with. Given how the small market teams are the ones that pushed these changes to the posting fees to begin with, I'd be more inclined to believe that the new setup is the former, which is probably bad news for the Cubs.
My initial thought was, why wouldn't all 30 teams bid on the best players available? Take Masahiro Tanaka as an example. Under the old system, he was expected to get the highest bid any player has ever received. If the maximum bid is now $20 million, it's hard to imagine that all 30 teams would not place a maximum bid. This way, all the teams could sit at the table and negotiate with Masahiro Tanaka.
After all, Tanaka would not have to be worth much over $20 million to justify getting the maximum amount. $20.5 million to be exact. The $0.5 million being $500,000, which is the MLB league minimum salary.
This would essentialy make in a free agent. True, most of the teams would have no chance whatsoever to sign Tanaka. But why not place the maximum bed and take a chance? Perhaps Tanaka just wants to take his talents to South Beach. It's worth the maximum bid to find out.
This, of course, assumes that only the winning bid would have to pay the Japanese team. I cannot imagine the two leagues agreeing to any other system.
Furthermore, why would the Japanese team accept such a low figure? Surely Masahiro Tanaka has more value to the Japanese team than the $20 million they would get from a Major League Baseball team.I can't imagine a player of his talent not providing more than $20 million in surplus value.
MLB is apparently in the driver's seat here. They want to limit the amount of money that they give the Japanese team and probably pay no more in salary to the player then they happen. Instead, a system like this is likely to limit the amount of talent coming over from Japan and increase the amount of money the Japanese player would get if he does come here.
The small-market teams are fighting for this and if this is the system, they have screwed themselves. So has Major League Baseball.