The new posting agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball has at least one Japanese owner feeling slighted.
The agreement calls for posting fees to be limited to $20 million, and any team posting that fee can then negotiate with said-player, as has been widely reported.
The owner in question here so happens to be Rakuten Golden Eagles owner Hiroshi Mikitani – who ultimately controls the fate of perhaps the most intriguing pitching prospect of the offseason, Masahiro Tanaka.
According to a report from baseball guru Peter Gammons, Mikitani is considering not posting Tanaka at all.
Here is an excerpt from Gammons’ report:
Mikitani is the one Japanese owner who strongly opposed the new agreement, and Wednesday suggested in an interview that he would not post Tanaka, who isn’t a free agent for two more years. “It’s a terrible deal for a Japanese owner,” says one MLB executive. “I don’t blame Mikitani.”
It just so happens that the 25-year old Tanaka is in the sites of the Yankees, Dodgers and other MLB teams interested in signing him. Because he will not be a free agent until after the 2015 season, he must be posted by Rakuten, and Mikitani Wednesday said, “I don’t intend to post him.” [Gammons Daily]
Tanaka went 24-0 last year for the Golden Eagles while posting a 1.27 ERA over 212 innings. Over a seven year NBP career, Tanaka has gone 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA, 1238 strikeouts, 275 walks and a 1.10 WHIP over 1315 IP.