Japanese teams post a player through their commissioner’s office, which notifies its American counterpart to make an announcement to all 30 clubs. Interested teams have four days to submit a secret bid, known as the posting fee. If the highest bid is accepted, the team making it has 30 days to negotiate exclusively with the player. If no deal is reached, the posting fee is returned to the major league club and the player’s rights revert to his Japanese club.
The posting system was created to address player transfers in December 1998, mostly as a response to the messy process that ultimately landed pitcher Hideki Irabu with the Yankees. ...
The first player to change leagues through the new system was another Dominican, pitcher Alejandro Quezada, also of the Carp. Before the 1999 season, he made history when the Cincinnati Reds won the first posting with a bid of $400,000 for his negotiating rights. Quezada, who later changed his name to Diaz, pitched in the Reds’ minor league system through 2003, but never appeared in a major league game.
Nearly two years later, the heralded outfielder Ichiro Suzuki became the first Japanese player to use the system. His Orix club reaped a $13.1 million posting fee from the Seattle Mariners after he signed a three-year, $14 million contract.
Over all, 11 players - nine Japanese and two Dominicans - have signed with major league teams through the posting system. Six postings failed to produce a player transfer, the first five because no teams bid.
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