MLB, NPB agree on revised posting system

DALLAS -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels wouldn't talk specifically about his team's interest in the latest Japanese sensation, pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, on Wednesday at the club's annual holiday luncheon.

But he did have some thoughts on Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball's new posting system that caps the fee that Japanese teams receive for their players at $20 millon. The new system was announced earlier this week.

Remember, the Rangers paid a $51.7 million posting fee two years ago for Yu Darvish. With the highest bid, the Rangers were able to negotiate exclusively a six-year, $60 millon contract with the then 25-year-old Darvish.

The new system will benefit Tanaka and other Japanese players.

"It seems equitable, right?" Daniels said. "It a lot more closely mirrors traditional free agency while still respecting the Japanese clubs' efforts and investment to develop a player and getting them a return. It gives the player more of a choice. The money is going to the player, theoretically. I'm sure at some level from the Japanese standpoint, capping it isn't a good tradeoff for them. But if you look at the whole, it kind of addresses a bunch of different things."

Tanaka said at a news conference on Tuesday that he has told his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, that he would like them to allow him to test his abilities in Major League Baseball next season.

The Golden Eagles voted against the new posting agreement in balloting by the 12 Japanese teams on Monday and have said they want Tanaka back next season. So there is still some mystery. Tanaka would reach international free agency after the 2015 season.

Daniels was asked Wednesday if he would have wanted the new posting system two years ago when the Rangers pursued and signed Darvish.

"No, I don't, because we had an exclusive window," Daniels said. "We knew we were in it. As long we didn't screw up the negotiation, we were going to get the player. That's what we were concerned about. That worked out pretty well for us."

The new posting system will bring new teams into the mix. Big spenders such as the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to be in the mix for Tanaka.

The Rangers have scouted Tanaka extensively and are expected to pursue him. Daniels wouldn't go there on Wednesday.

"I don't even want to begin to speculate there specifically to him," Daniels said. "As part of the system goes, you had to pay a premium, but you got an exclusive window. What this does is take some of the unknown out of it."

Harrison provides latest regarding recovery

TEX@HOU: Harrison strikes out nine over 5 2/3 innings

DALLAS -- Left-hander Matt Harrison was in town for several club functions involving the holiday season and said he is playing catch from 150 feet and should be set to move to a mound next week with 50 to 60 percent effort.

Harrison, who had three surgeries in five months during the 2013 season, has trimmed down to 245 pounds. His back, which required two of the operations for a herniated disc, is giving him few issues.

"I should be good to go and ready for Opening Day," Harrison said Wednesday.

In no rush, Daniels waiting on right deal

Will Nelson Cruz wind up back in Texas?

DALLAS -- General manager Jon Daniels said that nothing changed since last week's winter meetings, sounding his familiar refrain, "We like our team." But that the Rangers are open to adding to the roster and will act on the right deal if it comes along.

"We've talked about some everyday players, we've talked about some more complimentary players and we've talked about adding some depth to the pitching staff," Daniels said. "But we're not close on anything and don't have any pending offers or anything like that."

The two primary targets -- outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz -- still hold interest for the Rangers, but the price is still uncomfortably high on both. Daniels did say that the Rangers have remained in contact with Cruz and his agent, Adam Katz, but the Texas GM wouldn't comment on other clubs' players.