Baseball Basics: The Posting System Baseball Basics: The Posting System Baseball Basics: The Posting System

Baseball Basics: The Posting System

If you are a baseball fan, you must have heard the name Yu Darvish.

Darvish is Japan’s newest pitching phenom who is coming to MLB in 2012, but that seems to be the extent of some fans knowledge by choice or not.

Well, since I did receive a few emails this week asking me to explain what the process is for a MLB team to sign a Japanese player in a Baseball Basic, now seems to be the perfect time.

What is the Posting System?

The posting system is the process used by a MLB team can acquire a player from Japan’s Nippon Pro Baseball.

Here is a simple breakdown of the process:

  • An NPB player and his team both have to agree that he can be posted.
  • The NPB player’s team informs Japan’s NPB Commissioner’s Office of the posting, then proceeds to call MLB, who in turn notifies all 30 teams. This can only take place between November 1st and March 1st.
  • Once posted, MLB teams conduct a four-day silent auction bidding to win just an exclusive 30-day window to come to contractual terms with the NPB player who is posted. Bids go directly to MLB Commissioner’s Office and are sealed.
  • Once four-days are up, MLB discloses only the highest bid to the NPB team without revealing the name of the bidding ball-club.
  • The Japanese team has 30-days to either accept or reject the bid, and no negotiation is allowed. The MLB team does not pay any money at this point.
  • If the bid is rejected, the NPB player remains with his Japanese team and cannot be posted again until the following year.
  • But if it is accepted, the MLB team has won the 30-day exclusive period to sign the NPB player.
  • Only if the MLB team and Japanese player can agree on a contract does the NPB team get paid the bidding money. If no terms are agreed on, the player stays in Japan and no money is paid is paid to his team.

What Is My Opinion On The Posting System?

As, you can tell this system is not fair, as it particularly hinders the interests of the Japanese player as many don’t like the fact that the NPB has that much control.

Since only the top Japanese players can play in the USA, the NPB teams claim compensation is only fair, to make up for the decline in winning percentages by allowing a star to leave. And if the Japanese star flourished in the US, the MLB team should make a killing from Japan sponsors.

Still, what makes this system flawed to me is that the MLB Commissioner is used as an auctioneer, and keeping the secrecy of the bidding team to the NPB team. It is a compromise between two international leagues, but does not take into account the human rights aspect on the player at hand. And it also forces the player to compensate their salary on bidding money they don’t see a dime of.

My guess is this posting system will not be in place much longer, as the bidding numbers are to high a risk considering there is no guaranteed or even high success rate; two perfect examples being Yankees Kei Igawa and Red Sox’s Dice-K.

The overall lack of interest from MLB teams in Japanese players is due to this posting system, so either changes need to be made or this will go on like a broken oldies record.

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