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.
A wise man once said that a wise mad said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The White Sox are not prepared to miss their shot: Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says they are “actively trying” to trade Avisail Garcia.
Which seems like a super difficult shot given that (a) Garcia had knee and hamstring injuries this past season; (b) hit just .236/.281/.438 when he did play; and (c) is arbitration eligible and stands to make more than the $6.7 million salary he made in 2018. You put those things together and you have a guy that the Sox are almost 100% going to non-tender rather than take to arbitration, thereby making him freely and cheaply available to anyone who wants him as long as they can wait until November 30, which is the tender/non-tender deadline.
Garcia, who somehow is still just 27 years-old, is one year removed from what many considered a breakout year, in which he hit .330/.380/.506 in 136 games, but I don’t think anyone is going to bite at him in a trade. Assuming he’s in decent shape and recovered from injuries, however, he could be a useful player in 2019.