MLB extended the Mets’ deadline to re-sign Hisanori Takahashi until midnight today, but it sounds like the two sides aren’t particularly close to agreeing on a new contract.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Takahashi is asking for a three-year deal worth around $5 million per season and Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com confirmed those demands. Meanwhile, according to David Waldstein the New York Times the Mets have offered only a one-year contract.
Takahashi had a very nice rookie season for the Mets, going 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA and 114/43 K/BB ratio in 122 innings split between the rotation and bullpen, but at age 35 it’s easy to see why new general manager Sandy Alderson and company are hesitant to hand him a three-year contract.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.