NPB Officials Planning To Accept $20MM Maximum Posting Fee

11:59pm: Negotiations continue on how things will play out when multiple teams submit the maximum $20MM posting fee, Sanspo reports. However, it's possible that the bidding for Tanaka could take place before the U.S. breaks for the Christmas holiday at the end of the month.

6:04pm: Under the latest proposal, while the maximum posting fee is $20MM, players appear to be free to sign with any team that ties for the highest bid, the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin tweets. If that's the case, Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan points out, it will make Tanaka a de facto free agent, and he will likely receive a large contract.

WEDNESDAY,4:51pm: According to a report from Japanese report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (on Twitter), the Rakuten Golden Eagles are the only NPB team to stand against the proposed changes.  The Golden Eagles, of course, are Masahiro Tanaka's team. 

3:57pm: According to a Sanspo report passed along by Newman, NPB officials are planning to accept the $20MM maximum bid and the new posting rules (Twitter link).

There are conflicting reports on how the team would be selected, as Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times wrote this week that the posted player would be allowed to select from the teams that tie for highest bid.

TUESDAY, 4:50pm: NPB officials are amenable to the idea of a maximum bid, but not the amount which MLB has proposed, according to a Japanese report passed on by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (Twitter link). Major League officials are trying to impose a $20MM limit.

12:35am: MLB negotiators' latest proposal for the posting system would establish a maximum bid and include a provision prioritizing teams with low records, Sponichi reports (Japanese link). Under the plan, multiple teams could submit the maximum bid for a player, with negotiating rights going to the club that had the lowest winning precentage that year. Nippon Professional Baseball was scheduled to discuss the proposal in a meeting with the 12 NPB teams on Tuesday.

Last month, the two sides nearly reached an agreement that would have seen the Japanese team paid a posting fee equal to the midpoint between the top two bids. However, this arrangement was ultimately rejected by MLB because of opposition by small-market teams, which insisted that the posting fee be counted against the luxury tax.

As the article notes, this new proposal and its maximum bid could encourage greater participation among small-market teams. A marquee name like Masahiro Tanaka is all but off-limits for low-revenue clubs under the current system, which can require teams to pay more than $50MM just to get to the negotiating table. Small-market owners are therefore likely to drop their luxury tax-related demands if a scheme that gives priority to lower-ranking teams is on offer, Sponichi reports. However, winning teams are certain to oppose the plan because it would greatly reduce their chances of securing negotiating rights. It's also unclear how the proposal would be received by the 12 Japanese teams, which would appear to gain little by agreeing to a system with a maximum bid.

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