By Ed Baylor: Japanese baseball star Masahiro Tanaka was posted by his team Rakuten Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan. These means that Major League Baseball teams in the United States can begin bidding for his services starting today. The posting fee of $20 million will be required from the MLB team that wins the bidding for Tanaka.
The $20 million is now new posting fee amount, as before was without limits and this gave the wealthier Major League teams a big advantage over the poorer ones because they could not only win the bidding war but also afford to pay whatever the posting fee was that the Japanese team was asking for.
It was starting to get kind of ridiculous in how much it was costing the Major League teams to get the Japanese players. For example, the Texas Rangers had to pay a $50 million the begin negotiations with Yu Darvish last year. The new limit makes it a lot easier for Major League teams to enter into the bidding. That doesn’t mean that the wealthier teams still don’t win out, but it’s nice that the MLB teams no longer have an additional huge posting fee that they need to pay on top of that.
Tanaka recently told his team that he wanted to play in the Major Leagues this season. They were reportedly hoping that he would stay with them, as he still has 2 more seasons left with the Eagles. They could have blocked him if they wanted to. A MLB team likely would have blocked Tanaka from leaving as long as he was under contract, but his Japanese team did him a big favor in allowing him to be available to play in the Major Leagues.
Last season, Tanaka finished with an impressive 24-0 record with an era of 1.27.