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October 21st, 2013, 12:47 PM #1Rakuten Close to $60 M Windfall
Under current international professional baseball rules, when a veteran ballplayer in the Japanese leagues wishes to leave Japan and play for a US major league team, the team to whom he is under contract is entitled to what amounts to a buy-out fee. This amount can be significant. In fact, about two years ago, the record amount of $51 M was set when the Texas Rangers purchased the rights to pitcher Yu Darvish.
Well, Rakuten, besides all of its internet holdings, also owns a Japanese baseball team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, and the they have under contract the number one player in Japanese baseball, pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who this past season compiled an astounding 24-0 won-lost record.
Tanaka now wants to pitch in the US major leagues, and bidding among teams for the right to negotiate a contract with him will begin soon. It has been estimated that Rakuten's team will receive in excess of $60 M for those rights. The New York Yankees appear to be the team most likely to win such a bidding war, but the LA Dodgers and LA Angels will also be in the running, among others.
Rakuten must really need the money, as we all remember how they were so cash-strapped that after they purchased buy.com, that they were "forced" to lower commissions from 8% to the current 0-1% levels.
October 21st, 2013, 12:59 PM #2
October 23rd, 2013, 01:29 PM #3
- Join Date
- August 28th, 2006
Those who know the industry, knows who in their right mind would buy buy.com and Linkshare? Two huge mistakes in my mind. I'm sorry for the blunt remark Linkshare, but you can still get your act together!
December 26th, 2013, 01:28 PM #4
It now seems that Rakuten won't get quite the payday they anticipated.
Pursuant to a new agreement reached between Major League Baseball and the Japanese baseball governing body, the system for Japanese players desiring to play for MLB teams has now been changed. Under the old system, teams wishing the rights to sign a Japanese player first negotiated with the team for the right to sign the player. That is how the price for such rights reached figures like the $51 M Texas paid for Yu Darvish. Under that system, once the US team obtained the player's rights, they then negotiated a contract with the player.
Under the new deal, however, there is now a cap on the price for the player's rights of $20 M. For a 30 day period that began today, every MLB team can now negotiate with Tanaka, and then the team that makes the deal that he accepts will then own Rakuten the $20 M.
So, they won't get $50 M or more like they originally thought, but they will get $20 M. Still not a bad payday.
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