LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Yozo Tachibana, team president of the Rakuten Eagles, said Tuesday that no decision will be made on posting Masahiro Tanaka until he has the chance to speak face-to-face with his highly-coveted pitcher next week in Japan.
"I don't know what he wants to do," said Tachibana, who addressed reporters in the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel. "No one knows."
A new posting system for Japanese players has yet to be announced, but an NPB official said he expected one to be ratified at some point next week. Under the proposed agreement, MLB teams will be allowed to bid up to $20 million for a player. If multiple clubs hit that maximum, each can negotiate with the player, who will then have a 30-day window to pick his destination.
In Tanaka's case, Rakuten must choose to post him first, and they are not pleased with the proposal's $20-million maximum. Before that was put in place, the posting bid for Tanaka figured to go as high as $100 million with deep-pocketed teams such as the Yankees and Dodgers pursuing him. As a result, the Eagles would not be getting what they hoped for their ace. "Of course it's a little bit disappointing for us," Tachibana said.
Enough to keep Tanaka for another year rather than post him?
"I don't know," he said.