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Source: New posting system deal with Nippon Pro Baseball 'very close'

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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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A deal with the Japanese Nippon Pro Baseball league on a new posting system is "very close," a source tells FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal.

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Under the proposed deal, MLB clubs must be willing to pay the Japanese player's former team a maximum of $20 million for the rights to negotiate a contract. If multiple teams are willing to pay the negotiating fee, the player can negotiate with all of them. The team that signs the player would be the only one that would have to pay the fee.

As in the past, only the player's salary would be counted against the luxury tax, not the posting fee. Major League Baseball expects star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and other players will still be posted. If this did not occur, Japanese players might demand earlier free agency. Currently, Japanese players must wait nine years.

With less money exempt from the luxury-tax calculations, the new system is not good news for the New York Yankees, who want Tanaka but are trying to stay under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold for 2014.

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