Word on the virtual street from NPBTracker's Patrick Newman says that MLB and NPB are coming to an agreement on the new posting fees for Japanese players, with a hard limit of $20m. I'm kind of surprised that the NPB owners agreed to this, and wonder where their slice is. Maybe they'll get a percentage of whatever the contract is as well or something?
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.
Despite having the fourth worst record, I don't see how Masahiro Tanaka gets past the Astros if this really is the new system. Their organization is in pretty terrible shape, and the big question is whether the new, sharp front office thinks it would be worth it to have him around on what is likely to be a losing team for a while longer, Of course, the same goes for the Cubs but at least they can point to their wave of young talent heading up through their suddenly high-ranked farm system. Not to mention that Tanaka is going to ask for (and probably deserve) nine figures. It's not like the Astros have a lot of payroll getting in their way right now, and revenue sharing could help them a lot.