Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, December 28, 2013

LA Times: “MLB wary that Masahiro Tanaka might ‘repay’ Japanese team”

As Masahiro Tanaka awaits a nine-figure contract with a major league club, the commissioner’s office is expected to review the winning bid to ensure his Japanese club does not get more than the $20 million promised under a new agreement between Major League Baseball and its Japanese counterpart.

The president of Tanaka’s Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, said at a news conference this week that Tanaka wishes to make donations to improve the Eagles’ stadium and its facilities for players and fans.

The agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball expressly prohibits a Japanese club from getting any value other than the so-called posting fee, directly or indirectly, including through the player, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.

“We are intent on enforcing all the provisions of the agreement,” Courtney said.

 

 

Dr. Vaux Posted: December 28, 2013 at 08:26 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, free agents, masahiro tanaka, nippon professional baseball, transactions, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: December 28, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4625079)
Rakuten President: "I've made a huge mistake."
   2. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 28, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4625082)
Bud Selig finally found a revenue sharing scheme he opposes.
   3. Jacob Posted: December 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4625088)
Who would've predicted this is how WWIII would start?
   4. Tim D Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4625106)
So what was the point of those "discussions" between Tanaka and Rakuten before he was posted? Were they talking about how bad it would hurt Tanaka's feelings if he wasn't posted?
   5. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4625111)
Bud Selig finally found a revenue sharing scheme he opposes.


Can't have private investors funding a stadium when taxpayers could pay for it instead.
   6. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4625113)
Not sure why Rakuten felt the need to speak up about Tanaka's under the table payments - unless they agreed to it and they thought Tanaka might renege.
   7. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4625147)
Frankly I don't think it's any of MLB's damn business what Tanaka does with his money after he receives it.
   8. McCoy Posted: December 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4625156)
Sure, and MLB agrees with you. MLB has a problem with a team in a league they've reached an understanding with circumventing those rules by extorting players out of money. If Tanaka wants to give away his money there is no one stopping him from doing so.
   9. joeysdadjoe Posted: December 28, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4625160)
Why does Selig have a problem with this? Seems his new deal screws Japanese team owners more then anyone.
   10. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 28, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4625161)
Does the yakuza mess around in Japanese baseball affairs?
   11. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 28, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4625162)
Wait, there are a lot of things to be annoyed or angry with Bud Selig about but this is not one of them.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 28, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4625176)
Why does Selig have a problem with this? Seems his new deal screws Japanese team owners more then anyone.

Because the Japanese owners agreed to the new system. To then go and extort players is very sleazy.
   13. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: December 28, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4625195)
Why does Selig have a problem with this? Seems his new deal screws Japanese team owners more then anyone.


And if he allows this to go through, it would screw the other Japanese teams, as one of their competitors would be getting more money than they agreed they were allowed to.
   14. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 28, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4625211)
And if he allows this to go through, it would screw the other Japanese teams, as one of their competitors would be getting more money than they agreed they were allowed to.


And Bud should care about this why?

The MLB wanted to cut out the posting fee bidding frenzy. The new deal does that. Unintended consequences in the NPB aren't their problem.

Under the old agreement the teams were very likely paying the players part of the posting fee, and the MLB didn't seem to care about that as well.

The only entities that should be concerned about this are the NPB and their players union (do they have one?). I can see the league not caring, extorting money out of their own players is something team owners probably are happy to have the option to do.
   15. zack Posted: December 28, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4625213)

And Bud should care about this why?

Because systematic payments from the posted players back to their previous teams will make those players more expensive to sign.
   16. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: December 28, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4625217)
Nah, he'd get what he'd get anyway.
They care because it's counter to the agreement just hammered out - and because it's public. Don't talk about this stuff - it's not complicated.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 28, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4625219)
The only entities that should be concerned about this are the NPB and their players union (do they have one?).


They do, but it's perceived as not being as strong as the MLB one, although it has been getting stronger in recent years. The World Baseball Classic this year was under threat of NPB players not participating because the players association wanted a larger slice of the revenues. From wiki:

The preparations for the third World Baseball Classic were complicated by a dispute between the Japanese Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA), the union for all Nippon Professional Baseball players, and MLB over revenue sharing. JPBPA demanded a larger share of advertising and merchandise sponsorship revenue for the tournament, a large chunk of which came from Japanese companies. MLB resisted the move in part due to the fact that the World Baseball Classic is a joint production of MLB and the MLB Player's Association, meaning that those two organizations bore the cost of the tournament.

In July 2012 the JPBPA voted unanimously to boycott the 2013 World Baseball Classic.[3][4] The move was interpreted by some news outlets as a non-final decision, aimed at raising the pressure on MLB.[5][6] In September 2012, Japanese players agreed to take part after reaching a compromise with tournament organizers on sharing sponsorship and licensing revenue.[7]

   18. McCoy Posted: December 28, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4625241)
Under the old system the player and MLB weren't very happy as the NPB teams got a ton of money that could have either gone into the player's pocket or stayed in the MLB team's pocket. The new system was created so that the NPB team got its slice, the players got their slices, and the MLB teams didn't have to pay two different entities vast sums of money. If NPB teams are going to force Japanese players to pay them a walking away fee then the new agreement is pointless since MLB teams will still have to pay through the nose to two different entities. Since MLB has agreed to the new system I would think it is rather obvious that they want the system to run as agreed upon.
   19. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 28, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4625309)
And Bud should care about this why?


The Eternal Brotherhood of Rich Guys crosses international lines.
   20. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 28, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4625314)
The Eternal Brotherhood of Rich Guys crosses international lines.


This. A million times, this.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 28, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4625321)
The Eternal Brotherhood of Rich Guys crosses international lines.

But, here, Selig is working against the Japanese owner, and in favor of the player.
   22. James Newburg is in awe of Cespedes' CORE STRENGTH Posted: December 28, 2013 at 07:15 PM (#4625323)
I think NPB missed a huge opportunity with the posting system. They could have kept the the old bidding system in place and institute the $20MM cap for the posting fee. Just add the provision that, in the event of a tie for the winning bid, all MLB teams are required to pay the posting fee. If you have most of MLB in on the Tanaka market, then that would be a windfall for Rakuten while still curbing the MLB large-market team advantage under the old system.
   23. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 28, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4625347)
I think NPB missed a huge opportunity with the posting system. They could have kept the the old bidding system in place and institute the $20MM cap for the posting fee. Just add the provision that, in the event of a tie for the winning bid, all MLB teams are required to pay the posting fee. If you have most of MLB in on the Tanaka market, then that would be a windfall for Rakuten while still curbing the MLB large-market team advantage under the old system.


This would give some really weird game theory and might result in nobody bidding at all (or bidding $19,998,998,98 or something).
   24. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: December 28, 2013 at 08:12 PM (#4625349)
Or, it would just move negotiations to prior to posting - one team would bid, the one that had already secretly worked out a deal with him.

Now, if you allowed them to keep a percentage of the posting fee from all bids - it might get interesting.
   25. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 28, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4625398)
Just let the player sign a free agent deal with the MLB team he prefers, and give his old team x% up to a reasonable cap.
   26. madvillain Posted: December 28, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4625405)
I don't understand why it isn't just done like soccer transfers. Someone more into the finances of this stuff explain to me why that's not the case.
   27. McCoy Posted: December 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM (#4625407)
I don't understand why MLB doesn't say \"####'em" and declare all Japanese players either eligible to be drafted or free agents if they don't have a contract with a Japanese team. There is no legal reason nor moral one for them to honor the Japanese reserve clause.
   28. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 28, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4625419)
I don't understand why MLB doesn't say \"####'em" and declare all Japanese players either eligible to be drafted or free agents if they don't have a contract with a Japanese team.


MLB has a delicate task in Asia. They can't just engage in all out war, because they want baseball in general to be viable there. They won't be able to sell merchandise over there if NPB shrivels up and everyone turns to soccer.
   29. akrasian Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:17 PM (#4625427)
MLB has a delicate task in Asia. They can't just engage in all out war, because they want baseball in general to be viable there. They won't be able to sell merchandise over there if NPB shrivels up and everyone turns to soccer.

They also don't want disgruntled top prospects - upset over the draftee cap - to go to Japan for a couple of years and then sign as free agents in MLB for much more money, about the time they would be nice cheap cost controlled players in the normal process.
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:21 PM (#4625429)
Why wouldn't the Japanese "reserve clause" be every bit as contractually binding as MLB's version? I think there would be legal ramifications to going after Japanese players in this way.
   31. McCoy Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM (#4625433)
Why wouldn't the Japanese "reserve clause" be every bit as contractually binding as MLB's version? I think there would be legal ramifications to going after Japanese players in this way.

How is a reserve clause of a foreign country legally binding in this country? The Japanese reserve clause like the American reserve clause is an agreement between an employer and a union.

They also don't want disgruntled top prospects - upset over the draftee cap - to go to Japan for a couple of years and then sign as free agents in MLB for much more money, about the time they would be nice cheap cost controlled players in the normal process.

Very very very few young kids are going to opt for Japan over America. For starters Japan can't really afford to outspend America for prospects. Secondly MLB can simply adopt a rule that the clock stops on any person that leaves the country to play baseball. So if some high school kids gets drafted by the Astros but doesn't like the $50,000 bonus Crane is offering and heads off to Japan he is still a draftee of the Astros while he is over in Japan and when he comes back to America he'll still be a draftee of the Astros.
   32. McCoy Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:35 PM (#4625434)
MLB has a delicate task in Asia. They can't just engage in all out war, because they want baseball in general to be viable there. They won't be able to sell merchandise over there if NPB shrivels up and everyone turns to soccer.

One of the ways to make baseball viable in Asia is by getting Asian players into the majors. Making it cheaper to do so makes it more likely that baseball will prosper than not prosper. MLB gains very little by creating an artificial barrier to Asian talent.
   33. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4625438)
How is a reserve clause of a foreign country legally binding in this country? The Japanese reserve clause like the American reserve clause is an agreement between an employer and a union.

Are you under the impression that foreign agreements made under foreign law aren't legally binding in the United States?
   34. McCoy Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4625439)
I'm under the impression that a reserve clause of one country has no legal validity in another country.
   35. Publius Publicola Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:51 PM (#4625441)
One of the ways to make baseball viable in Asia is by getting Asian players into the majors.


Another way is for MLB to expand there. They won't do it though. Too many logistical problems.
   36. McCoy Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4625442)
If Mike Trout plays out this year and decides he wants to head to Japan and the Japanese decide to drop their agreement with MLB and one of their teams sign him there is nothing MLB can do to stop him from playing in Japan if he is intent to play in Japan. They can ban him from MLB if they want but they can't keep his butt in America and playing for a major league team.
   37. Bhaakon Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4625445)
One of the ways to make baseball viable in Asia is by getting Asian players into the majors. Making it cheaper to do so makes it more likely that baseball will prosper than not prosper. MLB gains very little by creating an artificial barrier to Asian talent.


That would be a fine approach in a country with a robust, high-level league in place.

Watching your favorite local star play on tape delay from half a world away is a major downgrade from watching him in person in a ballpark just down the street. Even if it the level of competition in that tape delayed game is 20% better (or whatever it is).
   38. bunyon Posted: December 28, 2013 at 11:59 PM (#4625446)

MLB has a delicate task in Asia. They can't just engage in all out war,


They also won't go up against a Sicilian with death on the line.
   39. akrasian Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4625448)
Very very very few young kids are going to opt for Japan over America. For starters Japan can't really afford to outspend America for prospects. Secondly MLB can simply adopt a rule that the clock stops on any person that leaves the country to play baseball. So if some high school kids gets drafted by the Astros but doesn't like the $50,000 bonus Crane is offering and heads off to Japan he is still a draftee of the Astros while he is over in Japan and when he comes back to America he'll still be a draftee of the Astros.

I doubt very seriously that MLB would want to test that in the courts, that once drafted the right is perpetual, even if the player signs a contract with another league and plays there for a while. Especially since the current rule is that if a player doesn't sign he can be redrafted by another team next year. Frankly, MLB would almost certainly lose - and the decision could affect them in other unpredictable ways too.

No, there is no way that MLB wants to open themselves up to a fully open relationship with a rival international league. They have too much to lose.

In terms of there being very very very few young kids willing to go - it would only take one college senior who fell in the draft choosing to go and then coming back for a big contract 3 years later to get a bunch of others to go. I'm sure Boras would love to test it. And I'm sure if a Japanese team felt that MLB was messing with them they would go along with it just to force a better agreement. MLB's defense is to give the Japanese teams enough that they agree to go along with limitations, without giving them more than is necessary.
   40. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:07 AM (#4625450)
That would be a fine approach in a country with a robust, high-level league in place.

Watching your favorite local star play on tape delay from half a world away is a major downgrade from watching him in person in a ballpark just down the street. Even if it the level of competition in that tape delayed game is 20% better (or whatever it is).


As it stands now MLB gets a very very small handful of Japanese players and generally get them at just past their prime and at really high costs. An MLB that can draft or sign any Japanese players and is free to create a teams/leagues in Japan is going to be vastly more effective and cheaper than the current system in place.

   41. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4625454)
I doubt very seriously that MLB would want to test that in the courts, that once drafted the right is perpetual, even if the player signs a contract with another league and plays there for a while. Especially since the current rule is that if a player doesn't sign he can be redrafted by another team next year. Frankly, MLB would almost certainly lose - and the decision could affect them in other unpredictable ways too.

It has worked well enough for the NFL. Secondly there are various other ways for MLB to do this if my first idea isn't valid. The idea that a player can simply leave the country and play for a team in another country and invalidate the system currently in place is nonsensical.

Take a look at Alfonso Soriano's history as proof that a player isn't legally binded by the rules of a league in a foreign country and that MLB voluntarily agrees to honor Japanese rules. The Carp signed Soriano straight out of the Dominican Republic. A year later he wanted out and wanted to come to America. NPB and the Carp wouldn't let him so he "retired" from NPB even though that was no longer a loophole in the rules. Bud Selig decides to allow Soriano to come to America to play in the majors despite it being specifically against the agreement MLB has in place with Japan.

No, there is no way that MLB wants to open themselves up to a fully open relationship with a rival international league. They have too much to lose.

They have virtually nothing to lose and almost everything to gain. Rival international leagues cannot compete economically with the majors. For further proof of this just look at the amount of young foreign prospects that come to America instead of signing with Japanese teams. There is no rule that says Japanese teams cannot sign a Cuban or Venezuelan or Dominican prospect. They could compete and do compete with American teams for these players and they consistently lose out to American teams for this talent. Some Japanese team can't really afford stealing away a Kris Bryant or an Austin Meadows. Nor can they afford to outbid the lower tier guys.
   42. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4625468)
The fact that NPB just agreed to lower the amount they get for their players from $60-70 million to $20 million should clue you in that they have no negotiating leverage against MLB.

I expect that over time MLB will slowly enslave NPB in the same way as it enslaved independent American baseball leagues in Branch Rickey's day.
   43. akrasian Posted: December 29, 2013 at 01:18 AM (#4625473)
Take a look at Alfonso Soriano's history as proof that a player isn't legally binded by the rules of a league in a foreign country and that MLB voluntarily agrees to honor Japanese rules. The Carp signed Soriano straight out of the Dominican Republic. A year later he wanted out and wanted to come to America. NPB and the Carp wouldn't let him so he "retired" from NPB even though that was no longer a loophole in the rules. Bud Selig decides to allow Soriano to come to America to play in the majors despite it being specifically against the agreement MLB has in place with Japan.

Of course that precedent favors Americans signing for a year in Japan then becoming free agents. Which MLB will want to avoid, and which Boras and others would love. Doesn't really help your point.

They have virtually nothing to lose and almost everything to gain. Rival international leagues cannot compete economically with the majors. For further proof of this just look at the amount of young foreign prospects that come to America instead of signing with Japanese teams. There is no rule that says Japanese teams cannot sign a Cuban or Venezuelan or Dominican prospect. They could compete and do compete with American teams for these players and they consistently lose out to American teams for this talent. Some Japanese team can't really afford stealing away a Kris Bryant or an Austin Meadows. Nor can they afford to outbid the lower tier guys.

Until very recently MLB teams could spend unlimited internationally. Now they can't. And even now, Japanese teams would rather sign Japanese players at their own reduced value. If MLB started routinely signing Japanese players, pillaging their talent base, then Japanese teams would have to look elsewhere for more of their talent.

You seem so confident that no US agent would get with a Japanese team and challenge this IF MLB didn't work with the Japanese leagues. But that just shows a willful ignorance of what Boras for instance would love to do. A player offered a pittance in the US draft could go to Japan under this scenario and play a couple of years for more money - and then MLB would have to hope they would win a court case preventing the player from being a free agent, even though legally he would be in the same boat as other players MLB was signing. At best it would be highly risky for MLB.

Instead, they sign an agreement with the one country that has baseball leagues that could realistically and consistently develop young players from the US, and ensure that MLB can still get talent from the league, without threatening their own cheap talent supply. In your scenario (no money going from the US to Japan) Japanese teams have zero reason not to go along with attempts to screw MLB. And Bud knows this. So an agreement was struck.
   44. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 01:55 AM (#4625485)
Of course that precedent favors Americans signing for a year in Japan then becoming free agents. Which MLB will want to avoid, and which Boras and others would love. Doesn't really help your point.

No it doesn't. Alfonso Soriano was always going to be a free agent regardless of whether or not he signed with Japan first. No American born player is going to be able to go to a foreign country to avoid the draft. Eh, if they were able it would be the first time a young American kid fled to Vietnam to escape the draft.

Until very recently MLB teams could spend unlimited internationally. Now they can't. And even now, Japanese teams would rather sign Japanese players at their own reduced value. If MLB started routinely signing Japanese players, pillaging their talent base, then Japanese teams would have to look elsewhere for more of their talent.

And they cannot afford American talent. More specifically they cannot afford to compete with American teams for talent.

You seem so confident that no US agent would get with a Japanese team and challenge this IF MLB didn't work with the Japanese leagues. But that just shows a willful ignorance of what Boras for instance would love to do. A player offered a pittance in the US draft could go to Japan under this scenario and play a couple of years for more money - and then MLB would have to hope they would win a court case preventing the player from being a free agent, even though legally he would be in the same boat as other players MLB was signing. At best it would be highly risky for MLB.

Instead, they sign an agreement with the one country that has baseball leagues that could realistically and consistently develop young players from the US, and ensure that MLB can still get talent from the league, without threatening their own cheap talent supply. In your scenario (no money going from the US to Japan) Japanese teams have zero reason not to go along with attempts to screw MLB. And Bud knows this. So an agreement was struck.


If Boras thought he could dismantle the draft he already would have tried to do so. He hasn't and running to Japan isn't going to somehow create a loophole. I don't even know why you think it does create a loophole. It simply does not. You need to move on.

Japan could not realistically and consistently take young players from the US and the US gets very little talent from the NPB. Nor is the talent that American teams are acquiring cheap. Let Japanese teams attempt to screw MLB. They'll lose and lose badly. MLB has the power and holds virtually all the cards. MLB is the league that decides what will and will not happen in this relationship.

Even with the draft caps the best draft picks are getting paid more in bonuses than the highest paid players in the NPB. NPB can't throw around millions and millions of dollars to prospects and pay to keep their best players in Japan as well. Hell, with American teams bidding on their best players as well they won't be able to afford to keep their best players either. In the end Japanese leagues would be reduced to college age/level teams and some minor league like league floating around at the edges of mainstream Japan.
   45. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 02:16 AM (#4625491)
American born players are subject to the draft. They must register with MLB to be drafted and if they are drafted and the American born player and team do not come to an agreement the player goes back into the draft. Thus if some American player decides to head off to Japan without even registering for the draft then whenever they decide to come back they must register for the draft and MLB teams will have a chance to draft him. If he registers for the draft first and a MLB team drafts him and then he heads off to Japan whenever he comes back he'll go back into the draft. The only way an American born player can become a free agent is if he registers for the draft and no one drafts him. At that point he can negotiate with any MLB team for his services. He could at that point head off to Japan, make a name for himself, and if the rules are changed, head back to America and be a free agent. There. Is. No. Loophole.
   46. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 29, 2013 at 02:18 AM (#4625492)
I'm under the impression that a reserve clause of one country has no legal validity in another country.

Why? What's the basis fir the NPB "reserve clause" under Japanese law?

If Mike Trout plays out this year and decides he wants to head to Japan and the Japanese decide to drop their agreement with MLB and one of their teams sign him there is nothing MLB can do to stop him from playing in Japan if he is intent to play in Japan. They can ban him from MLB if they want but they can't keep his butt in America and playing for a major league team.


They can obtain a large enough judgment that paying off the lawsuit and paying Mike Trout makes it a non-viable approach.
   47. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4625496)
A lawsuit for what? If Mike Trout has no contract in place he can play in Japan and with any American team not part of the National Agreement. Just because some American business says that they have the rights to whomever they want doesn't make it so. If Mike Trout has no agreement in place with anyone for his services then he is free to offer his services to anyone. MLB is allowed to regulate their own business and practices thanks to the government but that doesn't mean MLB gets to decide all employment choices of anyone they want. If Mike Trout refuses to sign his contract for this year and instead wishes to become a burger flipper for McDonalds MLB cannot stop him from doing so. They have no legal right to stop him from seeking employment elsewhere.
   48. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: December 29, 2013 at 04:02 AM (#4625507)
The fact that NPB just agreed to lower the amount they get for their players from $60-70 million to $20 million should clue you in that they have no negotiating leverage against MLB.

It's not MLB that strongarmed them into this agreement, it was their players.
   49. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 29, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4625515)
The MLB reserve clause is part of a collectively bargained agreement. It's a labor contract. Mike Trout is subject to that contract the moment he signs anything with an MLB team whether or not he's currently "under contract" in the sense baseball fans use the term.
   50. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 29, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4625517)
It's not MLB that strongarmed them into this agreement, it was their players.


Their players would have no basis for doing so if not for MLB. The players may have been the agents for this change, but MLB was the cause.

Besides, I'm pretty sure it was MLB that instigated the "negotiations" that led to this change, not NPB.
   51. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4625542)
I don't understand why it isn't just done like soccer transfers. Someone more into the finances of this stuff explain to me why that's not the case.


Because nobody but soccer fans know how soccer transfers work?
   52. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4625545)
The MLB reserve clause is part of a collectively bargained agreement. It's a labor contract. Mike Trout is subject to that contract the moment he signs anything with an MLB team whether or not he's currently "under contract" in the sense baseball fans use the term.

So you believe that Mike Trout would not be allowed to quit baseball and work for Burger King? The CBA doesn't say that a human being becomes an indentured servant the moment he registers for the draft.
   53. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 29, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4625571)
No, I'm not saying that and I suspect you are aware of that.

Under the law of every U.S. jurisdiction I'm aware of, a covenant not to compete must have certain limitations in scope. A covenant can't bar someone from all employment everywhere but it can certainly carry restrictions related to a particular profession. Some jurisdictions also require geographical limitations. How this would function in the professional baseball industry is, I'm sure, unresolved and, I'm also sure, MLB doesn't want to explore the limits of this issue

How about this... if MLB can act with legal impunity and without moral concerns in poaching NPB talent at will, why oh why would they pay off tens of millions of dollars every year? Altruism?
   54. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4625574)
There is no way the US legal system would allow MLB to extend a no compete clause to a foreign country and even if they did it wouldn't be enforceable. As of right now the only thing stopping MLB players from heading off to Japan is the agreement in place between NPB and MLB. These types of agreements are also why someone like Manny Ramirez simply couldn't head to the Caribbean and play ball their while suspended in America. MLB has rounded up almost every single league of any worth and reached an agreement with them on players.


How about this... if MLB can act with legal impunity and without moral concerns in poaching NPB talent at will, why oh why would they pay off tens of millions of dollars every year? Altruism?

Because that is how baseball has done it for decades and baseball isn't known for their rapid changes. But we are seeing changes. MLB has lowered the posting fees. Back in the pre-big money days there wasn't much separating MLB from competing leagues in terms of money so they had to protect their players by coming to agreements with various other leagues. Baseball went through a war with the Mexican League after WWII and they had no desire to enter into another war with the NPB. So they entered into an agreement in which they left the NPB alone and the NPB left MLB alone. This worked fine for decades until a)MLB money got huge and b)Japanese players started looking like they could be MLB capable. Since that point the rules have slowly changed so that more and more players can come to America and play here. If MLB wanted to be cutthroat they could but not being cutthroat doesn't mean they have no legal standing to be cutthroat.

Your boss can fire you when you make a mistake. That he doesn't isn't proof that he can't fire you.
   55. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4625604)
But, here, Selig is working against the Japanese owner, and in favor of the player.


Yeah, this occurred to me just after I posted that, but then I remembered: there are fifteen other rich guys that own ballclubs over there. He may be acting against the one rich guy looking for kickbacks, but he's acting in favor of the other rich guys who would feel like they were getting screwed over. Plus, if MLB ever needs its back scratched by NPB, they can't go around enabling corruption.
   56. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4625608)
Bud has ruled against NPB before. When Alfonso Soriano wanted to come to America he ruled in Alfonso's favor because like now back then they tried to game the system.
   57. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4625609)
There is no way the US legal system would allow MLB to extend a no compete clause to a foreign country and even if they did it wouldn't be enforceable.

Colby Rasumus will be excited to learn he's a free agent. You should shoot him a tweet or something.
   58. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4625613)
Colby Rasumus will be excited to learn he's a free agent. You should shoot him a tweet or something.

I'm beginning to think you have no real grasp on the American legal system, businesses in general, or on baseball's CBA and reserve system.
   59. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4625614)
I don't understand why it isn't just done like soccer transfers. Someone more into the finances of this stuff explain to me why that's not the case.


Because nobody but soccer fans know how soccer transfers work?

I get that is tongue-in-cheek, but I don't understand why Tanaka playing in MLB is any different from Lionel Messi playing in Spain rather than Argentina. His local fans have to watch him play half a world away rather than down the street just like Japanese fans have to. Argentina has an extremely popular "major" league in soccer that isn't anywhere near the caliber of the Spanish league. Nobody's concerned about soccer dying in Argentina -- they're a threat to win any World Cup they enter. This looks like MLB's engaging in the usual American tendency to try to reinvent the wheel oblivious to the fact that it's in wide use in the rest of the world.
   60. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 29, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4625791)
[53] makes no sense. A non-compete provision cannot be enforced in a completely different legal system that's an ocean away. And I highly doubt there is a non-compete in the CBA.

Didn't Nomo "retire" from NPB before coming to the Dodgers, which is how we got the posting system in the first place? I'm sure Trout could do something similar and sign with another professional league. Now if he wanted to return to MLB, I imagine the Angels would still control him, but that's another isue.
   61. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4625810)
Under the CBA a team is allowed to put a retired player on a reserve list thus unless the NPB changes their rules would not be allowed to play in the NPB without consent from MLB.

There is no existing legal barrier preventing American players from playing elsewhere right now. The barriers that exists right now are agreed upon barriers that both sides voluntarily agree to and can be changed/ignored at any time by them.
   62. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 29, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4625818)
My FIL got laid off from his sales job and signed a non-compete. So someone could found a company that sells things "in" the Cayman islands (just a PO box there, or even an office) and legally hire all of the laid-off non-compete US sales guys?
   63. staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: December 29, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4625819)
They also won't go up against a Sicilian with death on the line.


A real Sicilian would have have just stabbed that ###### at the last second. Especially with death on the line.
   64. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 29, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4625827)
So someone could found a company that sells things "in" the Cayman islands (just a PO box there, or even an office) and legally hire all of the laid-off non-compete US sales guys?

In that example, the sales work is still done in the USA, so the state laws governing non-competition agreements would apply (although in some cases overly broad non-competition agreements are unenforceable). If those folks moved to the Cayman Islands and worked there, they'd likely be OK, and be in similar circumstances to baseball players moving between the U.S. & Japan.
   65. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 29, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4625835)
Thus if some American player decides to head off to Japan without even registering for the draft then whenever they decide to come back they must register for the draft and MLB teams will have a chance to draft him. If he registers for the draft first and a MLB team drafts him and then he heads off to Japan whenever he comes back he'll go back into the draft.


I'm a bit confused here. Let's say there are two players playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters. Suzuki Akio is a player with Japanese citizenship who is on a 3 year $3 million contract. Bob Mingus is an American citizen who is also on a 3-year $3 million contract, because after being drafted by the Astros he preferred to play in Japan instead.

We're also assuming that there is no Japanese agreement with MLB.

So can there really be a situation where a MLB team could purchase a buyout of the contract of the Japanese player from his team, but be legally barred by MLB from buying out the contract of the American player? (I.e. is that even legal?)
   66. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4625837)
My FIL got laid off from his sales job and signed a non-compete. So someone could found a company that sells things "in" the Cayman islands (just a PO box there, or even an office) and legally hire all of the laid-off non-compete US sales guys?

The key is where you set your feet. If you're living in Illinois then Illinois and the US Government has a say in what you do and how you do it. If you're living in the Cayman Islands they have virtually no say in what you do and how you do it.

Now it is possible for our government to limit your ability to access the American market and financial institutions from the Cayman Islands but they can't stop you from selling goods to Caymanites produced in non US factories while you reside in the Cayman Islands.
   67. McCoy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4625841)
So can there really be a situation where a MLB team could purchase the contract of the Japanese player from his team, but be legally barred by MLB from purchasing the contract of the American player? (I.e. is that even legal?)

Legally? Well, that is a grey area. The draft is in a legal grey area. But yeah, the American player must go through system that has been put in place. AS of right now this exists and happens. If you're born in Illinois you have virtually no say for which team you'll play for while if you're born in Cuba you are a free agent and can shop your services to any team. If you're a Cuban that sets up residency in America then you must go through the draft process. That is why Cuban defectors don't jump to America immediately but set up residency in other foreign countries. For one, American businesses can't do business with Cubans and secondly the Cubans don't want to be exposed to the draft and the loss of leverage that would bring.

If MLB were to remove the barrier, as you mention in your hypothetical, I would also assume they would setup steps for either a draft of foreign born players or to create a mechanism (really a cap) to bring foreign players to America in a manner that controls costs and gives the power to the teams and not the players.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(2188 - 1:21pm, Apr 23)
Last: Rickey! In a van on 95 south...

NewsblogThe Five “Acts” of Ike Davis’s Career, and Why Trading Ike Was a Mistake
(12 - 1:20pm, Apr 23)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogMLB takes a swing at the video game business
(2 - 1:18pm, Apr 23)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(482 - 1:10pm, Apr 23)
Last: Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits

NewsblogMorosi: Diamondbacks' growing gloom might mean doom for manager or GM
(8 - 1:10pm, Apr 23)
Last: zonk

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for 4/23/2014
(18 - 1:08pm, Apr 23)
Last: CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck

NewsblogThe rise and fall of Ike Davis' New York Mets | Capital New York
(19 - 1:05pm, Apr 23)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogJosh Lueke Is A Rapist, You Say? Keep Saying It.
(110 - 1:04pm, Apr 23)
Last: Blastin

Newsblog4 balls, you’re out!
(5 - 12:57pm, Apr 23)
Last: Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB)

NewsblogJ.R. Gamble: Albert Pujols' 500-Homer Chase Is A Bore, But That's Baseball's Fault
(47 - 12:52pm, Apr 23)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogRoyals G.M. Dayton Moore believes hitting will come around
(16 - 12:37pm, Apr 23)
Last: KT's Pot Arb

NewsblogMatt Harvey of New York Mets deletes Twitter account after controversial tweet
(12 - 12:36pm, Apr 23)
Last: Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014
(1059 - 12:31pm, Apr 23)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(194 - 12:07pm, Apr 23)
Last: Pooty Lederhosen

NewsblogESPN: W. P. Kinsella: Where It Began: “Shoeless Joe”
(97 - 11:34am, Apr 23)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.8247 seconds
52 querie(s) executed