MLB and the Cubs Still Waiting on Masahiro Tanaka

Will Masahiro Tanaka be posted? Or will Masahiro Tanaka not be posted?

For every report that indicates Tanaka will be posted there are an equal amount of reports that say he will not. Jeff Passan reported that the president of the Rakuten Golden Eagles, Yozo Tachibana, plans to arrive at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday and is expected to clarify Rakuten’s plan on whether or not they will post Tanaka.

Rakuten is not happy about the new posting system in which the Japanese team would receive only $20 million for Tanaka’s rights, at least a third of what the team thought they would receive for posting him.

Reports have suggested Masahiro Tanaka stated his desire to pitch in the majors when he signed a three-year extension with the Golden Eagles last year, but that may not be the case. Rakuten could chose to keep Tanaka for one more season, pay him his $5 million salary and capitalize on what could be a lucrative farewell tour according to Jeff Passan.

Peter Gammons reported once again on Monday that Tanaka will not be posted this winter.

According to reports from Japan, Tanaka will not meet with the Golden Eagles to discuss his future until sometime after Dec. 15 if the posting system is settled by that time. The Rakuten team president will not meet with Tanaka until after the new posting system is finalized.

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball have agreed on a majority of the issues with the new posting system and the agreement is expected to be signed this week.

The Cubs are expected to be in the mix for Masahiro Tanaka, when and if he is posted. Jed Hoyer addressed the report on Sunday that indicated the Cubs would not have enough flexibility in the payroll to afford Tanaka.

According to Bruce Levine, Hoyer took exception to others understanding the Cubs economic strategy for now and the future. Hoyer said, “What people are speculating about our resources are not based on any kind of facts. There are very few people that know exactly what we have resources to do and obviously we will keep that internal.”

Hoyer said Masahiro Tanaka and Jeff Samardzija “are not attached at all.” So it is not an either/or for the Cubs and the front office is not interested in signing Tanaka in order to show Samardzija they are trying to win.

Teams are expected to lineup for a chance to sign Masahiro Tanaka. And while teams like the Dodgers may be lukewarm on Tanaka right now, more teams than not are expected to be in the mix for Tanaka if he is posted.

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