In 1998, Orix BlueWave general manager Shigeyoshi Ino rewrote the 1967 United States – Japanese Player Contract Agreement, when he drafted the "posting system". Selig and NPB Commissioner Hiromori Kawashima signed this new agreement in December 1998. It seeks to address each of the problems brought up by the Nomo, Irabu and Soriano cases, by requiring MLB teams to place "bids" for NPB players. These bids become the basis of transfer fees that are paid as compensation to NPB teams whose star players sign for the MLB. NPB players are also allowed to negotiate with MLB teams over the terms of their new contracts. Presently, the agreement is in effect on a year-to-year basis, terminable at the option of either the MLB Commissioner or the NPB Commissioner provided notice to terminate is given by June 18th of any given year.
The system only applies to players currently under contract with a Japanese team, although players who have nine or more years of playing service with NPB are exempt. It does not apply to free agents, or to amateur players who have never played in NPB. Mac Suzuki, Kazuhito Tadano, and Junichi Tazawa are the only Japanese players to have debuted in MLB without previously playing in NPB. The system does not work in reverse; it does not regulate MLB players, such as Alex Cabrera, who moved to NPB.
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