International News

Small Markets Go From No Chance to Small Chance For Japanese Players

Small Markets Go From No Chance to Small Chance For Japanese Players

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball came to a new agreement this week on the posting fee for Japanese free agents. Previously, NPB teams would post players for free agency, and the highest bidding MLB team would have exclusive negotiating rights for that player. This led to a lot of high bids, with players like Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka commanding $50 M just for teams to negotiate with the players. That money was only paid when teams ended up signing the player, which would cost around an additional $50 M for top players. The combined costs meant that small market teams had no chance at landing the top players out of Japan.

The new deal that was reached set a maximum bid of $20 M for players coming out of Japan. Furthermore, any team that bid $20 M had the opportunity to negotiate with the player. This new rule means that there's no reason for any team to avoid making the maximum bid on a guy like Masahiro Tanaka. Only the team that signs him pays the $20 M...

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