Masahiro Tanaka can move to majors after Japanese union updates rules

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Japanese baseball’s players’ union has approved changes to the posting system, clearing the way for right-hander Masahiro Tanaka to move to the United States this winter.

The union announced it would permit the use of the new system for two years, according to reports out of Japan. Nippon Professional Baseball’s 12 teams will meet Monday to finalize the agreement.

As was the case with the old system, Japanese players will be auctioned, with the major league team submitting the top bid gaining the exclusive negotiating rights. The posting fee -- the fee paid to a player’s Japanese league team -- will fall between the top bid and runner-up bid. A major league team that wins the rights to negotiate with a player but fails to sign him will be fined.

The Japanese players’ union had initially opposed the new system, as it wanted players to have the rights to negotiate with more than one team.

Japanese players could be posted as early as Nov. 20, according to reports.

However, Tanaka isn’t expected to be posted until some time after that. Tanaka is with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles at the Asia Series in Taiwan. Tanaka is expected to meet with team owner Hiroshi Mikitani to discuss his move to the major leagues after the tournament, for which the final is scheduled for Nov. 20.


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