MLB agrees to new posting system

Updated: December 11, 2013, 12:51 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball have agreed in principle to a new posting system for Japanese players who have not reached free agency, according to multiple media reports.

[+] EnlargeTanaka
Koji Watanabe/Getty ImagesThe new posting system for Japanese players could impact the availability of Masahiro Tanaka, who went 24-0 last season.

The new system must be ratified by MLB's executive council and Japanese team owners, a formality that could be completed this week, according to reports.

Under the new system, the maximum amount MLB teams can bid for a Japanese player will be $20 million. If more than one team submits a $20 million bid, the player can negotiate a contract with any of them.

Players will have a 30-day window to negotiate a contract once a bid has been posted, according to the New York Post. Once an MLB team agrees to a contract with a player, it would then owe the posting bid to the player's Japanese team, according to the Post.

The system could impact the availability of star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who went 24-0 last season -- a Japan league record -- for the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Rakuten president Yozo Tachibana said on Tuesday that the team has not decided whether the 25-year-old Tanaka, who has two years remaining on his contract, will be made available to MLB clubs.

Tanaka has drawn interest from many teams, including the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels.

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