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MLB ratifies new posting agreement; Shohei Ohtani posted effective today

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Major League Baseball just announced that its clubs have ratified the new posting agreement which will govern player transfers between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) beginning November 1, 2018. MLB simultaneously approved a temporary extension of the previous posting agreement between MLB and the NPB for the next year.

That previous agreement governs the posting of Shohei Ohtani, which also happened today. This creates a window for Ohtani to negotiate with MLB teams that will expire at midnight on December 22. One other player — right-handed pitcher Kazuhisa Makita of the Saitama Seibu Lions — will be posted by the end of December, it was announced.¬†Makita, 33, is a submarine-style pitching reliever who has a 1.91 ERA and 78/21 K/BB ratio over 141.1 innings over the last two seasons for Seibu.

Whichever team can agree to a contract with Ohtani will pay Ohtani’s old team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, $20 million.

The new agreement, which goes into effect next year, will work like this:

  • For Major League contracts with a total guaranteed value of $25 million or less, the posting fee will be 20% of the total guaranteed value of the contract;
  • For Major League contracts with a total guaranteed value between $25,000,001 and $50 million, the posting fee will be: (i) 20% of the first $25 million of total guaranteed value (i.e., $5 million) plus (ii) 17.5% of the total guaranteed value exceeding $25 million;
  • For Major League contracts with a total guaranteed value of $50,000,001 or more, the posting fee will be: (i) 20% of the first $25 million of total guaranteed value (i.e., $5 million) plus (ii) 17.5% of the total guaranteed value between $25,000,001 and $50 million (i.e., $4,375,000) plus (iii) 15% of the total guaranteed value exceeding $50 million;
  • For Minor League contracts, the posting fee will be a flat 25% of the signing bonus;
  • The annual window during which NPB players can be posted will be shortened to November 1st through December 5th.

Ohtani, of course, will be limited to how much he can be paid because he is a foreign free agent under the age of 25 and is thus subject to the international pool caps provided for under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Twins sign Fernando Rodney

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Craig Mish of Sirius XM reports that the Twins have signed Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

Rodney, who will turn 41 before he season begins, went 5-4 with a 4.23 ERA and converted 39 of 45 save chances last season with the Diamondbacks. For his career he’s sitting on an even 300 saves over the course of 15 big league seasons in which he’s played for eight different teams, four of which lasted a single season or less.

The Twins make number nine.