ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Major League Baseball is withdrawing its proposal for a new bidding system with Japan, making it uncertain whether prized pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be on the market this offseason.
MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred said Japanese officials had not acted quickly enough on MLB’s proposal for a new agreement and that a new proposal will be forwarded.
Manfred said MLB owners were concerned that bidding under the old system had raised prices to a level many clubs could not afford.
Tanaka, a 25-year-old right-hander, went a 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA during the regular season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League.
Without an agreement, Japanese players would not be able to sign with MLB until they had nine years of service time and could become free agents.