Report: MLB may bar Tanaka from donating money to former team

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

MLB and NPB may not be done butting heads over Masahiro Tanaka. (USATSI)
MLB and NPB may not be done butting heads over Masahiro Tanaka. (USATSI)

MORE: Who needs Tanaka the most?

Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka intends to donate money to the Rakuten Golden Eagles, his former team, but MLB intends to prevent the newly posted pitcher from doing so, report Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. As they note, the newly forged posting agreement between MLB and NBP -- the one that caps posting fees at $20 million -- forbids the NPB team to receive any compensation beyond that posting fee, even if given to them directly by the player.

Rakuten's president Yozo Tachibana recently said that Tanaka, once he signs with an MLB team, hopes to pay for some capital improvements for his old club. Regarding that, here's more from Shaikin and Hernandez:

... according to Japanese media reports, Tachibana said Tanaka told him that he wanted to “repay the team that developed me” and “cooperate and donate . . . starting with improving the environment for the players and to make sure it's the kind of stadium that can be loved by [local] fans.” Sponichi, a Japanese newspaper, noted that Rakuten has spoken with local officials about the possibility of adding a dome to its stadium.

Now, none of that may happen. MLB is probably duty-bound to enforce all aspects of the posting agreement, lest other elements of it become more vulnerable to dispute or appeal.

Some further context from Shaikin:

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