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(LEAD) KBO-MLB talks over posting fee cap on scrapped

All Headlines 16:00 April 28, 2016

(ATTN: FIXES slug, ADDS details in paras 4-6)
By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- Talks between the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and Major League Baseball (MLB) on a bid cap for posted South Korean players have been scrapped, after the two leagues renewed a mutual agreement without changes, officials here said Thursday.

The KBO said it has agreed with MLB to extend the United States-Korean Player Contract Agreement until March 1, 2017, after MLB made the request, citing "reasons related to internal affairs." The deal was set to expire on May 15.

Among other things, the agreement covers the posting system, whereby a KBO player who has completed an equivalent of seven full seasons can make himself available at a silent auction for MLB clubs. Three KBO players have reached the majors via posting, most recently the Minnesota Twins' designated hitter Park Byung-ho.

MLB clubs can submit uncapped bids for the player in a silent auction and the team with the highest bid earns exclusive negotiating rights with that player.

If the club and the player agree to a deal within 30 days, then the posting fee goes to the player's KBO club as compensation.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers put in a bid of about $25.73 million for left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin. In January 2015, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the bidding for infielder Kang Jung-ho with just over $5 million. Last December, the Twins won the exclusive rights to talk to Park after submitting a $12.85 million bid.

With Thursday's decision, earlier discussions between the two leagues on adopting a cap on the amount of posting bid have been nullified.

In February, MLB proposed a US$8 million cap. MLB and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) also have an agreement that covers the posting system, and they settled on a $20 million cap on the bids in December 2013. The idea was to expand options for posted players and to allow less well-to-do MLB clubs to enter the bidding war for desired players.

The KBO-MLB agreement was initially set to expire on March 15, but the KBO temporarily extended the deadline by two months because it needed more time to discuss the posting fee cap issue. Now that MLB has been granted its wish to extend the deal in its current state, posting fee talks "will go back to square one" according to a KBO official.

If neither side intends to modify or terminate the agreement 180 days prior to the expiration date, then the deal is to be renewed automatically by one year.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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