MLB, NPB Re-Opening Posting System Talks

NOVEMBER 19: Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball will restart talks about a new posting system as early as today, according to a Japan Times report.  NPB negotiators hope to reach a new agreement "somewhat resembling the existing one."

NOVEMBER 14, 5:18pm: The posting arrangement isn't in jeopardy of falling apart, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (all Twitter links).  The issue amongst the owners was that some small-market owners wished for posting fees to be counted against the luxury tax.  This couldn't happen, however, unless the collective bargaining agreement was changed, and the MLBPA informed the owners that they weren't going to re-open the CBA.

12:07pm: Major League Baseball COO Rob Manfred spoke to reporters today, including Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger, and said that MLB plans to amend its proposal for changes to the posting system after Nippon Professional Baseball took too long to inform MLB of a decision (Twitter link).

Manfred's comments come shortly after NPB Union executive director Toru Matsubara told the Japan Times that NPB has approved the proposed changes to the system in what was an "agonizing decision." Said Matsubara: "There was not enough time on our side and we haven’t got any more bargaining power than this. It was an agonizing decision (accepting the revisions)." However, as Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times points out (on Twitter), the lengthy delays might make NPB's decision a moot point.

Meanwhile, one owner told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that there are "serious reservations" regarding the posting system, and an agreement may not be reached at all. Should that be the case, coveted ace Masahiro Tanaka wouldn't be available to Major League teams this offseason at all (Twitter link). Newsday's David Lennon agrees (on Twitter), noting that MLB's new hard-line stance could pose a threat to Tanaka's ability to jump to the Majors.

According to the Japan Times report, the system that Matsubara reluctantly agreed to would have awarded the top bidding team exclusive negotiation rights with the posted player. However, the posting fee would have been reduced to an average of the top two bids, and MLB teams that weren't able to work out a deal with the posted player would be subject to a fine.

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