Masahiro Tanaka has started what is expected to be one of the most interesting and expensive bidding wars in MLB history for a player from Japan. Then again Tanaka is not your average run of the mill player, he is a top of the rotation right handed pitcher. Last season playing for the Rakuten Eagles, in the Japanese league the soon to be 26 year old was an impressive 24-0 with a micosopic 1.27 ERA.
According to multiple media outlets the Yankees have already been in touch with his agent about starting talks to bring the pitcher to the Bronx. The Dodgers and the Red Sox are expected to be among the more than ten teams to be part of the bidding for the service of Tanaka.
For those new to how getting a player from Japan to play in the United States, any club that wins the Tanaka sweepstakes must also pay the Eagles, the team that controls his rights a posting fee of $20 million dollars on top of the contract that the pitcher agrees to sign.
The Rangers paid a total of $112 million dollars in 2012 to acquire Yu Darvish. The deal broke down to six years at $60 million dollars with his team in Japan getting $51.7 million in posting fees. That deal broke the record for a Japanese pitcher coming to the Major Leagues which was set in 2006 when the Red Sox paid #103 million dollars to acquire Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Most baseball experts feel that the overall deal that Tanaka is likely to get will break the record of Darvish. The winner is expected to pay in the $115 million dollar range with six years being the length of the deal.
So the bidding has begun and it will take deep pockets to pry the talented young Tanaka away from his Japanese home.