Now comes the easy part.
The Rakuten Golden Eagles, after months of speculation, decided to post Masahiro Tanaka, thus making the 25-year-old Japanese pitcher available to all 30 Major League Baseball teams. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the posting period for Tanaka begins Thursday and ends Jan. 24 at 5 p.m.
Under the new posting system established this offseason, MLB teams can bid as much as $20 million for the right to talk with Tanaka, although only the team that ends up signing the right-hander will need to pay the Eagles the hefty fee. An MLB spokesperson told Feinsand that teams do not have to place a formal $20 million bid but rather be willing to pay Rakuten $20 million if they sign Tanaka.
Feinsand reports that the 30-day posting period means Tanaka will need to sign with a team by Jan. 24. He’s free to sign with any team, and the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks are among the clubs that have been linked to the talented Japanese hurler.
Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for Rakuten last season.
Photo via Wikipedia/Masahiro Tanaka