MLB, NPB agree to a new posting system

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It’s been a long time coming — and was mostly agreed to a couple of days ago — but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that MLB and NPB have an agreement in place on a new posting system that now only requires ratification by baseball’s executive council. That approval is expected.

The new posting system will have a $20 million bid maximum and all teams who meet the cap will be able to negotiate with the player. It’s hard to see how the posting system helps the NPB all that much. A $20 million cap is lower than past posting amounts. It will greatly help the player, however, as he will now have the chance to pit multiple teams against one another in negotiation, whereas before he was limited to negotiating with only the highest bidder.

Masahiro Tanaka could be the first major player involved in the new posting system, but the Rakuten Golden Eagles have yet to decide whether they’ll make him available. Representatives from the Golden Eagles are here in Orlando today, where it is expected that they will make the decision, one way or the other.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.