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Report: NPB Proposes Changes To Free Agency

 Leif Skodnick  |    Apr 30th, 2024 11:18am EDT

Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan’s top professional league, is negotiating a revision to the system by which players can receive free agency, a report from Yahoo! Japan said.

Currently, a player must accrue seven or eight years of service time in the NPB to become a free agent within that league, depending on the circumstances. A player must accrue nine years of service time in the NPB to become an international free agent and be eligible to sign in Major League Baseball without going through the NPB’s posting system.

Yahoo! Japan reported that NPB and the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association met in Tokyo to negotiate a new agreement. The proposal would drop the years of service time required for free agency in Japan to six or seven years. In exchange, the number of days of service required to earn a year of service time would rise from 145 days in a season to a number yet to be determined.

An NPB player earns a day of service time for each day spent on the roster of a Central League or Pacific League club.

Tadahito Mori, the secretary general of the players’ association, told Yahoo! Japan that although the number of days proposed to equal a year of service time has been reduced, “I have asked the players how much, but it is not within that range,” saying that it would be difficult for players to agree to the current proposal.