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MLB/NPB posting agreement close, per reports

Multiple reports indicate that MLB, NPB, and the MLBPA are close on an agreement for a posting system

Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

MLB, the NPB and the MLBPA are close on an agreement for a new posting system for Japanese League players to come to play in America, per multiple reports on Twitter. The new agreement would pave the way for the posting of Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Shohei Ohtani, who has expressed his desire to come to MLB this year. Joel Sherman says that owners would be in a position to ratify the agreement in ten days, meaning Ohtani would not be eligible to be posted until a week from Friday.

Under the current posting system, the maximum that can be paid to the posting team is $20 million. There had been discussions about the posting fee being instead a percentage of what the player is paid, though for a player such as Ohtani, who is subject to MLB's international bonus pool restrictions, that would be a pittance in most cases. In addition, there was disagreement over whether a posting NPB team could pull a player back if they were dissatisfied with the posting fee.

In any case, as I think most expected, things are being worked out, and Ohtani should end up being posted in early December.

UPDATE — Jon Heyman is saying a deal is done. Sherman says that the posting fee will be on a sliding scale, which starts at 20% for contracts under $25M, and then decreasing as the contract value increases, beginning with 2018-19.

In addition, Sherman says Ohtani will have 21 days to sign once he is posted, rather than the normal 30 days, which it sounded like the union wanted so as to lessen the time everyone will be in a holding pattern waiting to see what he does.