November 19, 2008

MLB vs. NPB: To court or not to court? That is the question.

posted by BoKnows to baseball at 09:47 PM - 6 comments

I had read this earlier, and generally I would say that the US teams should not be courting the Japan minor league players. However, since this player is in a team not affiliated with any NPB team, I don't see what the problem is. Since he was open for any of the NPB teams to court, why not any team in general?

posted by opel70 at 08:42 AM on November 20, 2008

I see this as a non-issue. Other players that the NPB teams passed on were allowed to sign with MLB teams, I don't see the justification for blocking him from doing what he wants to do.

posted by dviking at 07:21 PM on November 20, 2008

I don't like gentlemen's agreements that benefit wealthy team owners at the expense of players trying to do what is best for them. Player's should be able to get the best deal they can on whatever continent. If the Japanese start poaching American talent because they have a better offer, so be it.

posted by bperk at 12:04 PM on November 21, 2008

This is a classic case of, "Damn! I can't believe we passed on this kid." Now that Junichi Tazawa's fastball has reached the velocity of 97 MPH, the same teams that overlooked this kid in the first place are now taking notice and are saying, "Wait a minute, MLB teams can't steal this kid away from us" and the problem that I have with that is that they had every opportunity to select Tazawa and passed.

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

posted by BornIcon at 02:38 PM on November 21, 2008

This has happened in reverse, and I don't recall MLB making any argument against University of Hawaii's Derek Tatsuno signing with a Japanese team in the late 70s (or it might have been early 80s, my memory is not good on that point). Tatsuno was of Japanese-Hawaiian ancestry, and wanted to try to play in Japan. I believe that he made it known to the MLB clubs who were interested that he wanted to try Japan. He was a terrific left-hander for Hawaii, and was the first pitcher to record 20 wins in a collegiate season, and is in the collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame.

posted by Howard_T at 06:10 PM on November 21, 2008

Add this link to my comment above. It has an explanation of the way Tatsuno and the Japanese clubs got around the agreement.

posted by Howard_T at 06:22 PM on November 21, 2008

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