Masahiro Tanaka Wants to Pitch in the Major Leagues and Asks to Be Posted

According to multiple reports from Japan, Masahiro Tanaka met with the Rakuten Golden Eagles and told them he would like to pitch in the Major Leagues in 2014. Tanaka has asked his Japanese team to post him and make him available to sign with a MLB team.

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball finalized the new posting system on Monday. According to Baseball America, Masahiro Tanaka met with Eagles’ president Yozo Tachibana “and informed him on his wish to be posted.”

The Rakuten Golden Eagles have not decided if they will post Tanaka and make him available to be signed by a big league team. Rakuten has team control over Tanaka for two more seasons and has asked Tanaka to remain in Japan and pitch for the Golden Eagles.

A decision on whether or not Masahiro Tanaka will be posted this winter could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

The Cubs will be part of the Masahiro Tanaka process once he is posted but how realistic a shot the Cubs have at signing him will soon become the question. Patrick Mooney reported sources familiar with the situation called the Cubs’ pursuit of Tanaka “a long shot” and “two industry sources with knowledge of the team’s financial picture said there’s no chance” the Cubs will be able to sign Tanaka.

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod have acknowledged the Cubs’ interest in Masahiro Tanaka without “showing their cards” on how much interest the team has in Tanaka. The Cubs are looking for ways to add pitching to the team without it costing a draft pick, or the slot money tied to the pick.

The questions remain, will the Cubs be able to match the offer the Yankees put in front of Tanaka then sell him on pitching for a team that is building for beyond the 2014 season?

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  • SuzyS

    I do believe we’re about to go “all in” on Tanaka. What that is and whether it’s enough is the question. Good luck to Theo and Co. If we win, it’s a major statement…and there can be no question we’re playing for all the marbles.
    …and we better hope Tanaka is as good as advertised.
    Yankees go home!!!

  • Tony_Hall

    I hope it does come down to the Yankees and Cubs, and he says he doesn’t want to play with that old team and says isn’t there any team full of 20 somethings, that I can fit in with in America.

  • Sonate

    One can never be sure, but I’m guessing that it’s going to take $65-$85 million over 5-6 years to get it done (in a rational world). If it comes down to a bidding war, the Yanks can certainly outbid us, so I would not be surprised if they went higher (e.g., $100 mill). Of course, that is in an irrational world! Also, maybe I’m way off base. But didn’t Darvish get something like 6yr-$60mill (on top of a $50 mill posting)? The price for the talent could not have declined since then. However, if I’m Theo I’m hesitant to shell out 9-fugure compensation packages to someone who has been over-worked and has yet to throw a single pitch in MLB. He could be a bust (unlikely), or blow out his arm (a possibility) before the Cubs can seriously contend for a championship.

    • cubtex

      I heard the number of 20 mil for 6 years plus the 20 mil posting fee. Darvish wasn’t a free agent like Tanaka and couldn’t have other teams bidding against each other. So….would the Cubs go 6 years at 140 mil? Would we hear about no money for other players if they sign him? I really don’t think the Cubs have a chance for Tanaka anyway.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Isn’t there about something with the record getting precedent over the big money teams?

        • Tony_Hall

          No, that was just part of the talks. Rumors that leak out or are let out to see reaction.

      • Sonate

        I agree. Not if the Yanks really want him. Maybe I’m crazy, but I would never go that high (120 + 20) for a player who 1) never threw a pitch in MLB and 2) who has clearly been overused. Who knows how long he’d last, even if he lived up to the hype?

        • cubtex

          I agree. I would rather have Garza back at 14 or 15 mil back at 4 years.

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