There could be a big change to the Japanese player posting system this offseason


David Lennon of Newsday has a report which could prove pretty significant: a change to the NPB-to-Major Leagues posting system in which U.S. teams bid on the right to negotiate with Japanese players coming to the United States.

As of now, the teams interested in negotiating submit sealed bids, one is selected and the player has to negotiate with them or else not come to the U.S. at all until he is posted in a subsequent year. Lennon reports, however, that the process could be changed to where the top three bids are selected and the player can choose which of the three teams to engage.

It’s not free agency, exactly, but it does give the player a bit more choice. And though it may cost the Japanese team which gets the posting fee a bit of money if the player chooses, say, the third highest bidder, it may make the player more likely to strike a deal and thus improve the odds that the Japanese team gets a posting fee at all.

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.