ESPN’s Jim Bowden whose first syllable of his last name is pronounced like it belongs with a quill full of arrows, not as though he’s especially penitent, reported that Major League Baseball would announce later this morning who of the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays have won the rights to negotiate a contract with Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish.

According to Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball, the entire posting system was introduced after Hideki Irabu.

The Padres won the rights to the pitcher that led the Pacific League in ERA and strikeouts in 1995 and 1996. But, Irabu did not want to play in San Diego and he eventually wound up with the Yankees. The “posting system”, while arguably flawed, was designed to stop that leveraging from occurring.

Here’s a quick summary of the rules:

  • Requests for postings are made by the Japanese Clubs sometime between November 1st and March 1st.
  • The player’s medical records are then made available to all MLB teams.
  • Within four days of posting, interested Major League clubs must submit a bid to the MLB Commissioner’s Office to be paid to the Japanese team.
  • No direct contact between the posting club and the bidding club is made.
  • Once the deadline has passed, the MLB Commissioner notifies the Japanese team of the amount of the successful bid.
  • The team then has four business days to accept or reject the bid.
  • If the highest bid isn’t accepted, the posting is withdrawn and another posting cannot occur until the following November 1st.
  • If the highest bid is accepted, exclusive negotiation rights are given to the Major League Club with the highest bid for 30 days.
  • If the player signs a contract with the Major League Club, the team must pay the Japanese Club the amount of its successful bid within five business days of the signing and approval of MLB and the MLBPA.
  • If the player fails to sign a contract within 30 days, the Major Leage Club with the highest bid doesn’t have to pay the Japanese Club and the player will be prohibited from being posted again until the following November 1st.

So, for now, we wait, until Major League Baseball and the Hokkaido Fighters are ready to announce the winner of the bid that is sure to be accepted.

And The Rest

The Texas Rangers are working on a massive contract extension with Derek Holland. Part of the terms: no more impressions on national television. [Twitter]

Is it really necessary to look at the Albert Pujols contract and try to make something more of it than it is? Apparently so. [ESPN]

Not only is Alex Gonzalez going to get paid $4.25 million next year, if he makes 425 plate appearances, he’s guaranteed another $4 million next season, too. [Twitter]

It’s another edition of Clint Hurdle’s scouting reports! [FanGraphs]

How about an in-depth look at the current state of the New York Mets’ finances? The term pooched comes to mind. [Amazin' Avenue]

Presenting the San Francisco Giants top ten prospects. [Baseball America]

Some more details have emerged regarding the new CBA, including replay and fines for taking too long between pitches. Sorry, Mr. Papelbon. [ESPN]

Which Tampa Bay Rays pitchers are most likely to be traded away this off season. All you need to know for the annual office pool. [St. Petersburg Times]

The San Francisco Giants have avoided arbitration and signed Guillermo Mota to a reasonable $1 million contract for the coming year. [Twitter]

After being fired a little over a month ago, former GM Bill Smith is set to rejoin the Minnesota Twins. Go figure. [ESPN 1500]

Utility infielder Nick Punto has agreed to terms on a two year (you’re reading this right) contract with the Boston Red Sox that will pay him $3.5 million. [Twitter]


Comments (45)

  1. Here is my total guess as to the top five bids:

    1. Nationals – $60,000,000
    2. Cubs – $51,111,112
    3. Jays – $36,000,000
    4. Mariners – $32,000,000
    5. Yankees – $26,000,000

  2. AA said that missing out on Chapman is his biggest regret so far. Will this be regret #2 or did learning from that incident help argue his case to open the wallet?

  3. Question. Is there anything in place to stop a team from submitting a “block” bid. If a team feels that their rotation is strong enough but they worry their competitor will benefit from an extra arm can they submit a posting bid of $100,000,000.00 with no intention of signing the player??

    • I was wondering the exact same thing this morning. Surely there must be a provision for acting in good faith, but it would be difficult to regulate.

      • I read somewhere that the shortstop the Yankees won the bidding on doesn’t want to play there (because he’s clearly blocked) and wanted to play in Boston. Considering what the Yanks had no need for him, I wonder if the Yankees did this intentionally. I would assume the guy is not coming.

    • MLB can step in and give it to the second highest bidder and so on if in their judgement, a bid has been placed not in good faith.

    • Keith Law was asked that very question on Twitter last night, and said the commissioner would crack down on that hard. Presumably teams know that so are operating in good faith.

    • Mike Wilner (I know!) tweeted a valid point in that not only would you have Heir Selig coming down hard on any team that made a bid not in good faith. You’d also probably go a long way towards ensuring that your team never signs another Japanese player ever.

  4. Teams must negotiate “in good faith” if they are the winning bidder, whatever that means.

    My rational for thinking that the Jays won’t get Darvish is as follows:
    - Anthopoulos puts a value on all players and will not exceed that value in a contract, therefore I find it unlikely that the team will put in an extravagant bid.
    - This process almost requires teams to overpay for the elite talent that is posted.
    - I expect someone to put in an extravagant bid (see my Washington prediction as they have been known to be crazy with their money i.e. Jayson Werth, and missed out on both CJ Wilson and Mark Buehrle)

  5. I’ve read the Yankees bid was “modest” and unlikely to get the deal done.

  6. If Dice K was north of $50M, and this guy is by all accounts much better, why would anyone bid less? I get the whole Dice K didn’t work out, but….

  7. Suppose if you will:
    The jays win the post bid and are unable to negotiate a contract. How badly will that hurt AA’s ninja status?

    • Does anyone know what Darvish will demand?

      • Rumours have been in the 50-75M range.for… uhm… I forget how many years

        • Hey Acronym-Bros, let’s stay topical shall we.

          • Ok….

            In response to your question. My view would be “shit happens”… if they can’t get a deal it means that Yu’s demands were not reasonable in AA’s view. He’s done enough in the past 2 years for me to be able to say that I think he’s a reasonable and sensible person. So if a deal doesn’t happen then there’s a good reason.

            … and he’d still be a ninja in my view.


          • sorry to digress but didn’t get the rulebook

            To answer your question, AA’s “ninja status” has already taken a hit this offseason. It will be mostly gone if a deal doesn’t get done

        • say a 5 year deal at $50m, plus at least that much and likely more for posting fee makes him a $20m/yr pitcher. ouch!

          If nothing else, it should shut up the “Rogers is cheap” crowd

  8. from MLBTR….
    “9:43am: There’s “buzz” that Toronto had a “whopper of an offer,” according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Grant suggests the Rangers bid in the $40-49MM range.”

    …buzz = bullshit?

  9. I’ve always liked Whoppers!

    Thats gotta mean something!

    Go Jays!

  10. It’d be cooler if it’s done The Price is Right style and televised.
    You gotta bid closest without going over the retail price.

    $1, Bob.

    • In this case it’s more like “Bid as much over the retail price as you can get away with without your owners turfing your dumb ass…”

      .. and I guess without going so far over everyone else’s bid that you look stupid…. “Oh Hi Theo Epstein! Didn’t see ya there”

  11. Everyone on twitter recycling the same rumour that Jays won with a “whopper” of a bid. I guess if it’s repeated enough times, it’s gotta be true.

  12. Jason Parks on the Baseball Prospectus podcast was saying he’s hearing that the Jays view Darvish as a number one while most other teams see him as a good two. I assume this means they’re willing to pay accordingly. If the overall investment here is in the $100-$110-million range, that’s actually solid value for a 25 year old pitcher that the team views as an ace.

    One question though: do the same years of service regulations apply to posted players? As in, does Darvish have to play six years before he can become a free agent? If so wouldn’t that make the contract most likely for six years?

    • I was under the impression that, aside from only being able to negotiate with one team he was basically a “free agent” already. Meaning he’s only committed to the one team for whatever duration of contract they agree upon. I would think the team would strive for a long-ish contract of 5 or 6 years anyway… As would the player (or at least most players seem to lean towards guaranteed years)

  13. Sorry for the non-Darvishness here, but Alex Gonzalez could make 8.25M next year? By the beard of Zeus! I thought I read it wrong about 14 times first. Someone should get a hefty bonus for breaking his leg before he gets to 425 PAs.

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