The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced a 24-hour extension to agree on a new posting system with Nippon Professional Baseball. The deadline, previously set for Monday evening, is now 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday.
Getting a new posting system into place by the somewhat arbitrary deadline is of particular importance for Shohei Ohtani and interested MLB clubs. Without an agreement, the Japanese two-way star will be forced to wait at least one more season for his highly-anticipated MLB debut.
A report earlier this month indicated the previous posting system, which expired, would be grandfathered for an additional year. Though, that still required approval from the MLBPA, and they reportedly have concerns over the financial structure.
If the Nippon-Ham Fighters are to post Ohtani this winter, they would receive a fee likely worth $20 million if and when the 23-year-old signed a contract. That amount pales in comparison to the deal Ohtani would be limited to signing.
Another of the matters being discussed in negotiations is the posting fee window, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Sources: Negotiating for new posting system continues, and while parties remain optimistic, gaps do exist. An example: MLBPA wanted to shorten posting window from Nov. 1-Feb. 1 to Nov. 1-Nov. 15. NPB countered Dec. 31. MLBPA went Dec. 1. NPB then Dec. 15. Haggling over two weeks.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 20, 2017
Beyond the posting window potentially impacting MLB free agency, that the MLBPA has taken umbrage with the potential contract Ohtani can sign at present time comes with some irony.
Bonus pool restrictions were made more stringent with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, in large part because of concerns that international players were signing much more lucrative contracts than those who were drafted.
For his part, Ohtani downplayed the possible loss of earnings in his first contract, and instead stressed his desire to compete against Major Leaguers.