Super star picher Masahiro Tanaka has picked a team according to NBC’ Hard Ball Talk but at least for the moment he is not talking. His most recent talks have been with the Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees but not one of those teams have been informed yet that he made his choice.
The 25 year old Japanese pitcher who went 24-0 as the ace of the pitching staff for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball League is on the clock. Tanaka has until Friday at 5 p.m. to choose a team or return to Japan.
According to the New York Daily News:
Tanaka, whom the Yankees are targeting, is the first test case for a reformed posting process that allows the player to choose his team. Under the previous system, only the MLB club that submitted the highest bid could negotiate with a player who had been posted; now,Tanaka can solicit offers from all 30 teams, and the signing club must pay the ace’s former team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, a $20 million fee.
Over the weekend, Japanese media outlet Nikkan Sports reported that the Yankees, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, White Sox and Cubs have all made offers to Tanaka. The report said that most of those were for more than $100 million over six years.
While Nikkan issued the report there has been not a single news outlet in the United States that can confirm any of details of a proposed contract or which teams other than the Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs who were willing to make an offer for the star.
Most baseball experts feel that this is really a two team race with the Dodgers and the Yankees as the favorites but the wild card could be Seattle. The M’s need an arm to go with Robinson Cano, they have the money and a very big following in Japan, so they are the dark horse.
Whoever it turns out to be the answer should be soon.