MLB, NPB nearing new posting system agreement


According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, who has translated a Wednesday evening report from Sanspo in Japan, officials at Nippon Professional Baseball headquarters are prepared to accept a new outline of posting system rules from MLB execs.

It’s not exactly clear at this point what their final agreement is going to look like — word is there is an official announcement scheduled for Thursday — but here are the basic details of Major League Baseball’s initial posting system proposal, presented this week to the folks at NPB:

It’s a system that would help low-budget MLB teams that have had to shy away from high posting fees and it gives much more freedom and opportunity to Japanese players trying to move from NPB to MLB.

Masahiro Tanaka is the big-ticket item on the international market this winter and will hopefully be able to soon accept bids from interested Major League Baseball clubs. The 25-year-old right-hander finished 24-0 with a lights-out 1.27 ERA in 212 innings this past season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.