Report: Masahiro Tanaka’s Agent Already Contacted by Yankees

Masahiro TanakaThe New York Yankees are jumping right in.

The Yankees already were in contact with Masahiro Tanaka‘s agent, Casey Close, on Thursday, according to Newsday’s Marc Carig. Thursday marked the first day that major-league teams were allowed to begin negotiations with the prized Japanese pitcher.

Close also represents Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira, so there certainly is a familiarity between the agent and the Yankees organization. Tanaka figures to garner plenty of interest on the open market, though, and the list of potential suitors could get longer as we go deeper into the pitcher’s 30-day posting period.

Under the new posting system, any Major League Baseball team can negotiate with Tanaka as long as it is willing to pay the pitcher’s Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, a $20 million fee if it signs the right-hander. That fee is in addition to whatever the signing team agrees to pay Tanaka as part of his new major-league contract.

It’s been speculated that Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with the Eagles in 2013, could receive a contract in excess of $100 million. It’s a hefty sum, especially for the Yankees, who already have been aggressive in free agency this offseason, but Tanaka is just 25 years old and could be an ace. New York, which desperately needs pitching, might find the idea of adding Tanaka too appealing to pass up.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

Photo via Facebook/Masahiro Tanaka

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