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  • If the highest bid isn’t accepted, the posting is withdrawn and another posting cannot occur until the following November 1st.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]