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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