masahiro tanakaThere may not be any more MLB games to go see until next year, but that’s not preventing me from taking in live action this morning. That’s right, it’s ‘Disney on Ice’! I tend to think Mickey’s problems with runners in scoring position are just a small sample fluke, but, at the same time, I’m pretty sure Jasmine’s WAR is inflated by some unsustainably positive defensive metrics. I mean, she’s a princess, not a shortstop. Not sure how that will all play out today, but I’m bringing my glove, just in case.

  • The posting system for bringing Japanese players to MLB was supposed to open up this week, after months of negotiations on a new agreement that would change that system slightly. So, is it open? Are teams lodging blind, private bids for stars like Masahiro Tanaka? Nope, reports Jeff Passan. MLB and NPB (the professional league in Japana) haven’t yet come to an agreement, and their previous posting agreement has thus expired. The sides are still negotiating, with MLB’s desire to reduce those massive posting prices (and Japanese players’ desire to have more of that money go to them) being the big hurdle. We’ve heard possible solutions before, including a scenario where three teams would win the post, but Passan presents an interesting new one: the team with the highest posting bid would win the post, but would be forced to pay only an amount about halfway between the top bid and the second bid. That could have the effect of dramatically increasing bids, but reducing the amount the winning team actually pays.
  • As for Tanaka, specifically, Passan hears estimates on the winning post for the stud righty ranging from $75 million to $100 million. You read that correctly: the amount it could take just to have the right to negotiate a contract (which you’d then have to pay) could be more than double what the amount was for Yu Darvish. I told you the price of poker was going to go up, and the total commitment for landing Tanaka will be significant. There is no bargain to be had here – only years of control in a player’s prime.
  • All in all, it’s unclear when the new posting system agreement will be in place, but it is expected to happen at some point this offseason, and Tanaka will be posted immediately thereafter.
  • The Fall Stars Game is tonight at 7pm CT on MLB Network. Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are in the starting lineup, with Albert Almora also having made the team. Almora went 2-4 yesterday for the Solar Sox, with a double and a triple.
  • Summing up my fears for baseball long-term, the Wall Street Journal writes about the marked decline in interest in baseball among kids. I believe the children are the future, teach them well and let them hit the ball.
  • Cubs minor league Elliot Soto was suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse.


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