The manner in which the Texas Rangers acquired the services of Yu Darvish prior to the 2012 season could be a thing of the past, as MLB is trying to change the posting process for getting Japanese players under contract.
There's another big-time pitching prospect in Japan that is on several teams' radars, including the Rangers', in Masahiro Tanaka, but the process to sign him could be much different than it was two years ago when the Rangers got Darvish.
Back then, of course, it was just a deal where the highest bidding team earned the right to negotiate with Darvish. The Rangers big in excess of $54 mililon to Darvish's Japanese club in the Nippon Baseball League. But now, MLB is trying to change that process.
The proposed change would make it to where the big could not exceed $20 million and if multiple teams bid the same amount, they'd all have the chance to negotiate with the player, instead of getting exclusive negotiating rights.
Tanaka's club is now saying they might pull Tanaka back if the proposed rule change takes place, but if they don't, and the rule does change, it could really favor the Rangers, who could bid $20 million and then probably be a favorite to sign the pitcher. The Rangers are known to have strong ties in Japan and obviously would have Darvish on the club to help acclimate Tanaka to big-league life.
While Tanaka isn't expected to be as dominant as Darvish, he's 25 years old and was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season in Japan. But his strikeout total of just 183 in 212 innings could be a red flag, as he's more in line with the average Japanese pitcher than Darvish and his ability to get swings and misses.