MLB Posting System

As of 2013, the agreement between Major league Baseball (MLB) and Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB) known as at the posting system, has expired and they are currently negotiating a new agreement. In the previous agreement Japanese players first had to go through their team in the NPB if they wish to be posted. If the team chooses not to post the player, the player must wait until they become an international free agent, which is nine years of service in the NPB. By this time most players have passed their prime, and their talent levels decline. However, if the NPB team decides to post a player, they go through a process where MLB teams will put a blind bid for the rights to negotiate with the player. The team with the highest bid wins the rights, and then has a set time period to negotiate a contract with the player. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement then the money is returned and the player is returned to the NPB. This process has led to some speculation that a team could purposely out bid other teams and then not sign the player to ensure that the he does not go to a rival team, while receiving their bid money back. Another issue can occur where a team tries to negotiate with the player in bad faith. Meaning that he team knows that the player wants to come to the MLB and uses that as leverage to try and lower the salary in negotiations. The player has no choice in the team he chooses, and must decide to either take the low salary and play in the MLB or return to the NPB and come back next year hoping for a better salary.

With the expiration of the previous agreement, the MLB and NPB are currently working on a new agreement. With negotiation under way, it brings much speculation about what changes can be made to the previous agreement to make for smoother transactions and less conflict with teams, leagues and players. There is speculation that instead of having the team with the highest bid win the rights to negotiation that the top three teams with the highest bid get negotiation rights. Others suggest removing the blind process all together. There are numerous ways that the agreement could be improved, but what they will agree upon is still up in the air.

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