UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 11:10 p.m. ET
According to a tweet from L.A. Dodgers beat writer Dylan Hernandez translating an announcement from Sankei Sports, the Rakuten Golden Eagles will post Masahiro Tanaka.
---End of update---
First, Masahiro Tanaka's posting was held up by negotiations between MLB and NPB over the posting system itself. That's been resolved, but Tanaka's status is still uncertain, because his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, reportedly wants to keep the ace right-hander.
Ultimately, though, Tanaka will be posted. After all, Rakuten doesn't have to post the pitcher, and team brass could end all the speculation with one simple announcement: "We're keeping him."
For all their reported frustrations about Tanaka's possible departure, the Golden Eagles still stand to gain $20 million in exchange for his rights. That's a lot of money in NPB, where a potential 2014 salary of $7.7 million would make Tanaka the highest-paid pitcher in league history. Comparatively, Tanaka made just $4 million last season.
The new posting system between MLB and NPB was approved by 11 of the 12 teams in NPB, with only the Golden Eagles opposing the agreement, The Japan Times reported. Clearly, they were not in favor of a new system that would result in the loss of their franchise player in exchange for $20 million. By comparison, the Rangers paid the Nippon Ham Fighters $51.7 million for the right to negotiate exclusively with Yu Darvish two offseasons ago. You have to think Rakuten could have gotten well over $20 million for Tanaka under the old system.
The Golden Eagles can keep Tanaka as a matter of principle or out of spite. But as an organization, do they want to hold hostage a player who doesn't really want to be there? Can they afford to pass on $20 million?