Major League Baseball and Japan may have worked out a new agreement for posting Japanese players for sale to U.S. teams. The Rakuten Golden Eagles, current employer of star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, appears to be underwhelmed at their potential return. That could mean that Tanaka may not make it to the United States.
Patrick Newman of NPBTracker seems to think that the Golden Eagles do not like the new $20 million posting fee cap:
Rakuten is really balking at the $20m posting fee limit.— Patrick Newman (@npbtracker) December 7, 2013
With Disuke Matsusaka getting $51.1 million from the Red Sox and Yu Darvish $51.7 million from the Texas Rangers, the Golden Eagles were probably salivating at the thought of an even bigger haul.
But, there is still some incentive to the Golden Eagles. If they are going to sell, now is their last chance. Next offseason Tanaka is going to be a free agent. That means that he can sign with any team he chooses - American or Japanese. No posting fee would head to Japan in that case, as we saw happen with Hideki Matsui, who signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent.
Will they take the $20 million and sell? That remains to be seen. Maybe he is more valuable to the Golden Eagles keeping him in Japan.