Just now, Buster Olney had this to say:
Source: Other teams in Japan considering kicking in $ for Rakuten to make up for diminished posting fee on Tanaka, to move toward agreement.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 13, 2013
My initial response was, "Huh...that's different." Seemed kind of weird for a bunch of rivals to want to splurge to move the process along for one player, though that player is Masahiro Tanaka, who is apparently good at baseball. Craig Calcaterra had a similar reaction and offered this:
I'd love to see the Dbacks, Giants, Padres and Rockies to pitch in to have the Dodgers release Kershaw.
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) December 13, 2013
I found that idea amusing, but I also don't think it's the same thing. For one, Clayton Kershaw isn't going to suddenly leave for Japan after he hits free agency, so their division rivals don't really have to do this (even though I thought the joke was funny). For another, the situation in Japan is this: if the NPB doesn't fully support the new posting system, MLB is not going to funnel money into Japan, and the players will eventually get disgruntled and could potentially exploit other loopholes or simply elect to try their luck in the MLB Draft without even playing in Japan to bypass their service in NPB altogether. Some think that is unlikely to happen, but given the talent potential in Japan and the untold amounts of money that could be had in MLB, there has to be some incentive there.
It's up to the Rakuten Eagles to decide whether $20MM posting fee plus whatever their league rivals kick in is worth posting Tanaka now, or reject the offer and have Tanaka be one year closer to free agency, lose out on the extra money, and risk an injury or lapse in performance and/or Tanaka's own displeasure at not being posted. We'll wait and see.