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Remember back in 2007, when the Boston Red Sox were interested in pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka?
Well, before the Red Sox could even think long-term about Dice-K, Boston had to pay a posting fee to his respective Japanese ball club. MLB Trade Rumors said that Dice-K's posting fee was $51.1 million dollars . This was in addition to the Red Sox paying Dice-K a salary of $52 million over six years.
This brings the Dice-K's grand total to $103 million; and I don't think the Red Sox have gotten even close to their money's worth.
The posting fee has become the standard procedure for any MLB team looking to acquire a player in Nippon Pro Baseball (Japan's top baseball league). It pays for an MLB team to have the exclusive right to talk with the player in hopes of making a deal.
The posting fees are not made public, so if there are multiple MLB teams involved, nobody knows.
And as expected, the player’s rights almost always go to the highest bidder. If that team fails to work out a contract with the NPB player, the posting fee is returned and so forth; the process starts again.
Since Darvish is better than Dice-K, he will cost a small fortune, which is not worth the risk even for a rich team like the Yankees.