MLB sources tell Scout.com that, contrary to an earlier report, the MLB club that signs sought-after Japanese RHP Masahiro Tanaka will pay the $20 million posting fee in four installments over 18 months.
Tanaka is expected to draw the maximum $20 million posting fee, payable to his NPB club Rakuten, and a contract in excess of $100 million. He was officially posted on December 24th, 2013 and the 30-day process of negotiating with any club that bids the maximum posting fee concludes in a few weeks, with nearly half the clubs in baseball showing legitimate interest.
For Tanaka's situation and any other player that draws a posting fee of over $10 million, the payment schedule would work as follows:
Payment One: 50% of the posting fee is due within 14 days of submission of the contact. For Tanaka, that would be $10 million due by February 7th, 2014.
Payment Two: 17% of the posting fee is due within 6 months of submission of the contract. For Tanaka, that would be $3.4 million due by July 24th, 2014.
Payment Three: 17% of the posting fee is due within 12 months of submission of the contract. For Tanaka, that would be $3.4 million due by January 24th, 2015.
Payment Four: 16% of the posting fee is due within 18 months of submission of the contract. For Tanaka, that would be $3.2 million due by July 24th, 2015.
This payment plan has been added to the new posting rules by MLB and NPB to allow smaller market clubs to more easily pay for top Japanese professional players. Previous big ticket Japanese pitchers that went through the old posting system, righties Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka, drew a first year outlay of over $50 million when posting fees were unlimited, lump sum payments paid upfront to the Japanese club.