Masahiro Tanaka reportedly is meeting with several Major League Baseball teams in Los Angeles this week. It could make things rather convenient for the Japanese pitcher.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have let it be known that they plan to go “all-out” in their effort to sign Tanaka, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The Dodgers reportedly are saying that they won’t be outbid in their quest to land the 25-year-old right-hander.
Signing Tanaka would give the Dodgers an incredibly deep rotation, as he would join Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu and Dan Haren. Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley currently are in the Dodgers’ rotational mix as well, although both are coming off injury plagued 2013 seasons and the club could have reservations about their potential impact in 2014.
Any team can negotiate a contract with Tanaka as long as it’s willing to pay the pitcher’s Japanese club a $20 million posting fee if he signs. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Thursday that the Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks were among a dozen or so teams expected to meet with Tanaka in L.A. this week.
Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with Rakuten last season, must complete a deal by 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 24. The Japanese ace is expected to land a contract in excess of $100 million, although that’s pretty much chump change for the Dodgers these days.