Patrick Newman and The Japan Times on NPB posting fees

The Japan Times published an article yesterday about how the new posting system agreement puts Rakuten (Masahiro Tanaka's team) in an unfavorable position

The Eagles were widely expected to post Tanaka this offseason, but the newly agreed upon system, complete with a $20 million cap on posting fees, seems to have the team rethinking things.

“First of all, discuss it with him,” Rakuten president Yozo Tachibana was quoted as saying by AP from MLB’s winter meetings in Orlando. “I don’t know if he wants to do it.” Tachibana has said his priority is to convince Tanaka to remain with Rakuten.

Under the auspices of the old agreement, the Eagles were virtually guaranteed a financial windfall. Now they won’t even recoup market value whether Tanaka is posted or leaves as a free agent two seasons from now.

Ironically, the system hurriedly pieced together to facilitate Tanaka’s move could keep him in Japan.

If nothing else, Rakuten’s newfound hesitance can’t bode well for future superstars as things currently stand.

I'm not sure there's anything in the article that we haven't already figured out, but it's a good read anyway. In the end, this concerns so few players that it's not going to have a big impact. Only Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kei Igawa and Yu Darvish have had posting fees exceed $20 million. 

Patrick Newman has a disucssion with his brain on NPB Tracker that is also a good read. 

People seem particularly annoyed by the $51m fee that Boston paid to Seibu for Daisuke Matsuzaka, and it’s understandable given his performance, but what gets overlooked is that it’s not unusual MLB teams transfer money to one another. No one batted an eye at Detroit including $30m in the recent Prince FielderIan Kinsler trade. No one cared that Texas agreed to send the Yankees $67m to help them undo their A-Rod mistake either.

So this is really about one guy then.

Yeah, probably. If Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t perfectly positioned to command another $50m+ posting fee, I doubt anyone would be having this discussion, at least not right now. There’s no one else in NPB that immediately commands to mind as being that hot a commodity; the other elite players are a few years away. So this is really about preventing his price from getting out of hand. The smarter thing might have been for MLB to try to push this kind of change through last year, when there were no postings from NPB. Hyun-Jin Ryu was posted from KBO, but I have to assume that it would have been easier to sell KBO on a $20m limit.

I'd have been against the max bid even if it was set last year, but when the reason for doing so this year is so obvious, it's even more frustrating. The "small-market" complaints about spending should fall on deaf ears when 1) acquiring Japanese players is cheaper than MLB free agents and 2) they're basically fucking the NPB while complaining poor. 

I don't believe there should be anything to save MLB teams from themselves when it comes to spending. If they want to spend, spend. If they don't, don't. I'll quote GW from yesterday:

on some level, i admit that i hope they don’t post him. MLB seems to think that they can continually artificially depress the price of talent, without suffering any ill effects.

Yep. I'm hoping the same thing at this point. 

I wonder, how much would an MLB team accept to trade one of it's biggest stars to Japan? The Cubs got $950,000 for Bryan Fucking LaHair. How much would the Angels accept for Mike Trout? If you think it would be anything less than $200 million, you're dreaming.