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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Yankees and Pirates execs get into heated argument over system used to sign pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka - NY Daily News

Changing the posting rules gets more and more complicated every day.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basic agreement, japanese baseball, masahiro tanaka, mlbpa, mlb_rules, posting rules

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: November 17, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4601506)
If MLB started counting posting fees towards the luxury tax the MLBPA would file a grievance that would be upheld in about 5 seconds.
   2. jdennis Posted: November 17, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4601511)
Bidding war! Yankees and.... Pirates! Who will win?
   3. Rough Carrigan Posted: November 17, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4601523)
If the posting fee part of the overall expense went down then teams would be able to pay the players more. Why in the world should the MLBPA be against that?

As an example, when the Red Sox signed Matsuzaka, Boras was pi55ed off that the Red Sox said, essentially, "Look, we think the guy is worth about $100 million. But the rules end up giving half that to his NPB team. We'll give him the other half." And Boras complained but eventually Matsuzaka signed. So, let's say that the posting fee had counted toward the luxury tax when Matsuzaka was being posted and the Sox and Mets and others would only go up to, say, $35 million. Instead of Matsuzaka getting a total of $50 million, he would have gotten $65 million. How could the MLBPA possibly be against that?! How will they explain to the players that they'd rather see money go to Rakuten than to Tanaka, a soon to be MLB player?
   4. McCoy Posted: November 17, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4601526)
I see no reason for the union to rush to a decision after being given no advanced warning/heads up on this issue.

A union isn't 30 owners sitting around with Bud Selig working them constantly. It's hundreds and hundreds of members and it is going to take time to talk to them about it, figure out what is best for them, and then have a discussion with management to negotiate a resolution. They have virtually no incentive to do this before 2016.
   5. Randy Jones Posted: November 17, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4601530)
As an example, when the Red Sox signed Matsuzaka, Boras was pi55ed off that the Red Sox said, essentially, "Look, we think the guy is worth about $100 million. But the rules end up giving half that to his NPB team. We'll give him the other half." And Boras complained but eventually Matsuzaka signed. So, let's say that the posting fee had counted toward the luxury tax when Matsuzaka was being posted and the Sox and Mets and others would only go up to, say, $35 million. Instead of Matsuzaka getting a total of $50 million, he would have gotten $65 million. How could the MLBPA possibly be against that?! How will they explain to the players that they'd rather see money go to Rakuten than to Tanaka, a soon to be MLB player?


Because in that example, Boston likely would not have considered Matsuzaka worth $100 million if all of it counted against the luxury tax instead of only what was paid to him. So yes, counting posting fees against the luxury tax will likely lower posting fees, but it will also likely lower the amount of money going to the player.
   6. Jim Wisinski Posted: November 17, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4601538)
There has been speculation that the fee could even exceed $100 million, and that’s before the winning team negotiates a contract with the righthander, expected to be in the range of six years and $65 million-$70 million.


I know this is just speculation but that's insane. A $100 million posting fee plus a 6/$65 contract would work out to $27.5 million per year for a guy that has never pitched in MLB. He'd be the most expensive pitcher (though not actually the highest paid) in MLB history.
   7. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 17, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4601545)
If MLB started counting posting fees towards the luxury tax the MLBPA would file a grievance that would be upheld in about 5 seconds.

I am not sure that is as entirely clear cut as that. The CBA defines a players salary as any compensation, cash or otherwise, given to the player. I don't think it is ridiculous to frame the posting fee as a service to the player, i.e. buying him out of his contract, so that he can move.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: November 17, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4601551)
Add in that the posting system probably hurts the players eventual contract. Having a posting system that gives one team exclusive negotiating rights puts all the power in the teams hand and not the players. Someone has suggest that the top three posting teams should have the right to negotiate with the player...it might be a little chaotic, but it seems the most fair(although I doubt the current owner/team of the player would like that, as you would then have three different posting fees)
   9. dejarouehg Posted: November 17, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4601556)
I know this is just speculation but that's insane. A $100 million posting fee plus a 6/$65 contract would work out to $27.5 million per year for a guy that has never pitched in MLB. He'd be the most expensive pitcher (though not actually the highest paid) in MLB history.


Owners have done dumber things than this. Makes you wonder how they accrued enough wealth to ever buy a team.

the top three posting teams should have the right to negotiate with the player...it might be a little chaotic, but it seems the most fair(although I doubt the current owner/team of the player would like that, as you would then have three different posting fees)


Some version of this would certainly make sense.

Generally speaking, I find the minutiae of the CBA, the posting process or the impact of a world-wide draft to be insipid, but if I were a player, I would find it galling that so much is being spent on unknown entities (and yes, I might even mix that with a little hostility that it's for players outside the USA) when that money should be spent on players who have already proven themselves. I would argue it is justification for a higher tax threshold.

I didn't RTFA and hope this does not put me on the side of Randy Levine. He's just unbearable.

   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 17, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4601563)
I am not sure that is as entirely clear cut as that. The CBA defines a players salary as any compensation, cash or otherwise, given to the player. I don't think it is ridiculous to frame the posting fee as a service to the player, i.e. buying him out of his contract, so that he can move.

Isn't the luxury tax formula part of the CBA? It's not like ObamaCare - Selig can't just change it anytime he finds it convenient.
   11. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 17, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4601575)
Isn't the luxury tax formula part of the CBA? It's not like ObamaCare - Selig can't just change it anytime he finds it convenient.

The CBT is indeed part of the CBA. There is however no formula. Any from of compensation or service towards a player should count. Whether a payment to the player's current employer, to absolve him from his current contractual obligations, counts as compensation or service, is a question for an arbitrator.
   12. billyshears Posted: November 17, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4601577)
Because in that example, Boston likely would not have considered Matsuzaka worth $100 million if all of it counted against the luxury tax instead of only what was paid to him. So yes, counting posting fees against the luxury tax will likely lower posting fees, but it will also likely lower the amount of money going to the player.


Wouldn't it lower posting fees but have no effect on the amount of money going to the player?
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 17, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4601581)
Whether a payment to the player's current employer, to absolve him from his current contractual obligations, counts as compensation or service, is a question for an arbitrator.

Not sure an arbitrator would have much difficulty with this one. Well-established past practice was to exclude posting fees from the luxury tax calculation; management, without negotiating with the union, attempts to unilaterally change the luxury tax formula to include the previously excluded posting fees; arbitrator rules for union, applying Labor Law 101.
   14. tshipman Posted: November 17, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4601675)
Wasn't the scuttlebutt that players split the posting fee with their Japanese team?

I certainly remember that being stated commonly when Darvish came over.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4601677)
I think we overstate lux tax effects. The Yanks are the only team that regularly pays it. The Red Sox have paid it 6 times but their average payment has been just $3 M. Other than that, the Angels once and the Tigers once. That's through 2011 which is what Wiki has on their page. As of 2011, 95% of the money paid in lux tax was paid by the Yankees.

Now, true, add a $50 M posting fee to the taxable amount and there would be a lot more teams that would exceed the threshold. If they were going over for the first time, they'd have to pay about $11 M. If they're signing the guy for 5 years, that's just an extra $2 M per year -- is that really going to make that big of a difference in their decision-making?

And that's assuming that any such policy enacted made it a one time charge against payroll for lux tax purposes. More likely it would get negotiated down to being pro-rated over the life of the player's contract or over the first 6 (non-FA) years or something

The luxury tax is a Yankees and now Dodgers tax and that's really about it. It is also intended to try to keep Boston, Mets, Angels and Cubs (I can dream can't I) from trying to keep pace with the Yankees and Dodgers. But once a half-dozen teams want to go screaming past the lux tax, I suspect we'll see those thresholds rise substantially.

From 2004-11, the Yanks averaged about $22 M per year in lux tax payments. So the lux tax had the effect of keeping the Yankees from signing one superstar over that period.
   16. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4601689)
After Walt's post I almost feel bad for Yankee Clapper. Almost.
   17. ptodd Posted: November 18, 2013 at 01:00 AM (#4601698)
Not sure why they would be arguing over something that's has been decided by the MLBPA unwillingness to accept it.

The average of the top 2 bids could lower significantly the posting fee, and the fact that 3 teams will be bidding up the salary means the posting fee would be reduced accordingly, since the benefit of being in the top 3 is less than having an exclusive right to negotiate with the top bid. Under the new system, Tanaka probably gets a 12-15 million AAV contract instead of 10-12.

However, I could actually see the Red Sox in on Tanaka. With Lackey, Lester, Dempster and Peavy all potentially gone in the next 1-2 years, and Buchholz with a shoulder issue that may be a labrum issue, and the iffiness of young pitching prospects, having a youngish guy who potentially projects as a #1 or # 2 starter at 6 years at 13-14 million AAV is something to consider. Especially as they are flush with money from the salary dump, new TV money, revenue sharing rebates, and higher ticket prices due to winning the WS. Their payroll is still high enough they may be flirting with the luxury tax threshold over the next few years, and losing the rebates makes the cost of going over more expensive.

I could see the Red Sox hoping to grab a top 3 slot with a bid in the 30 million range and hoping the average of the top 2 is around 50 million. If the avg posting fee is too high for their taste they simply make a low ball offer and let the Yankees and whomever else is in go after him while worrying the Red Sox will grab him and force them to pay Tanaka more.
   18. John Northey Posted: November 18, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4601717)
I remember the speculation on Darvish going up to $75 but in the end he barely broke the record at $51 mil. From what I've been reading Tanaka is not viewed as being as strong a prospect as Darvish was so I'd expect MLB inflation to push his posting fee higher but not drastically so. If it cracks $60 mil I'd be surprised.
   19. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4601739)
The luxury tax is a Yankees and now Dodgers tax and that's really about it.


It's always been a Yankee tax. How interesting that we're only hearing now about the regime's desire to make the Yankee tax apply to qualifying bid to Japan now that the Yankees are clearly connected to a Japanese player for the first time in years.

I do have to chuckle at the idea of the Yankees and Pirates squabbling over this. Makers vs takers writ small.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4601754)
I do have to chuckle at the idea of the Yankees and Pirates squabbling over this. Makers vs takers writ small.


Yeah, and just like the makers vs. takers narrative in politics, it's total bullshit spouted by the rich to make them feel better about themselves.
   21. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4601785)
Sounds like something a welfare-sucking taker would say to make themselves feel better about their parasitic nature.
   22. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 18, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4601855)
Wouldn't it lower posting fees but have no effect on the amount of money going to the player?


If you operate on the assumption that the teams are willing to spend $x total for a player then the options are:

A) posting fee + player contract = $x
B) posting fee + luxury tax + player contract = $x

So in B we have an additional amount of money being subtracted out of $x. Now of course that can come out of either the posting fee or the player contract. The posting fee still has to be the highest and the player contract still has to be agreeable to the player, so there are pressures on both sides.

However remember there is a time sequence here, where only the highest posting fee goes on to the next stage (for now), so if there is anyone not influenced to change their posting fee, then they are more likely to win the bidding and go on to the next stage. So I think adding in the additional factor would definitely have a downward pressure on the player contract.

How much is of course the question, and because the luxury tax does impact very few teams I expect the downward pressure is fairly small. Still, any downward pressure is bad from a player perspective.
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4601896)
Sounds like something a welfare-sucking taker would say to make themselves feel better about their parasitic nature.


Oh, go blow it out your ass. The Yankees enjoy a huge institutional advantage under the current system, something that's immediately apparent to all fair-minded people.
   24. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 18, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4601912)
Boy you parasites are a touchy bunch.

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