International Links: Posting System, Bello, Watanabe

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball are still trying to come to an agreement on changes to the posting system for Japanese players, but that agreement could be "several weeks away," writes George A. King III of the New York Post. Under the previous system, Japanese teams could've begun posting players on Nov. 1, making the restructuring a significantly negative impact for teams targeting Rakuten ace Masahiro Tanaka this winter. With Tanaka expected to command such a large financial commitment, teams stand to benefit from knowing sooner rather than later whether or not they have a chance to land him. Here are a few more notes from the international market…

  • Independent league right-hander Hideyoshi Ohtake has a tryout with the Red Sox, according to a report from Yahoo Japan passed along by Patrick Newman of NPBTracker (via Twitter).  Ohtake's fastball reaches 94 mph on the radar gun.
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that 15-20 teams scouted Cuban catcher Yenier Bello's showcase earlier this week. Bello took batting practice and gave teams a glimpse of his work behind the plate, including making throws to second base and third base.
  • Also at that showcase, writes Nicholson-Smith, were right-hander Rogelio Armenteros and first baseman Jozzen Cuesta. Armenteros threw for scouts and topped 90 mph with his heater. The pair of Cuban prospects is represented by the Wasserman Media Group.
  • Side-armer Shunsuke Watanabe is going to try to make the jump to Major League Baseball at age 37, according to an Asahi report passed on by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. Watanbe's delivery is one of the lowest to the ground in pro baseball, Newman notes (his second tweet includes a video), but his pitches top out around 70 mph (Twitter links). Watanabe has spent 13 season with NPB's Chiba Lotte Marines, totaling a 3.65 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. Despite his unorthodox delivery, he's spent nearly his entire career as a starting pitcher.

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