Reports: Rakuten Golden Eagles Will Post Masahiro Tanaka

According to multiple reports from Japan, the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided to make Masahiro Tanaka available to Major League Baseball teams and will post him this winter.

The Japanese reports indicated Tanaka met with the team’s owner, Hiroshi Mikitani and was told of the team’s decision to allow Tanaka a chance to pitch in the Major Leagues next season. Rakuten’s team president Yozo Tachibana made the formal announcement they had decided to post Tanaka.

Masahiro Tanaka is expected to announce which agent will represent him and those negotiations could begin as soon as Thursday once the posting is made official by Nippon Professional Baseball to Major League Baseball. Once he is posted, any Major League team willing to put up the $20 million release fee is eligible to negotiate a deal.

Casey Close was seen as the frontrunner to represent Tanaka from a field of agents that was believed to include Close, Arn Tellem and Mark Pieper. A report from Sponichi indicated Scott Boras is also in the mix to be Tanaka’s agent.

The MLB teams that submit the $20 million posting fee will have 30 days to negotiate and sign Masahiro Tanaka. And only the team that signs him has to pay the posting fee to Rakuten. Once Tanaka is signed, it will take him about two weeks to obtain a Visa which should allow him enough time to be able to report to Spring Training without any delays.

Agreeing to the new posting system and the money lost by Rakuten under the new agreement delayed the announcement that many expected would be made. Tanaka said last year, prior to signing a three-year contract with the Golden Eagles that his dream was to pitch in the Major Leagues.

Rakuten is reportedly looking into ways to recoup some of the posting fee they “lost” under the new agreement by MLB and NPB. According to the report from Sponichi, Rakuten has looked into how Tanaka could enhance the global brand of their internet business.

The Cubs are expected to “be all in” on Masahiro Tanaka according to Bruce Levine and David Kaplan. The Yankees, Angels, Diamondbacks and Dodgers are also expected to be all in on Tanaka. Kaplan reported he spoke with a MLB source on Tuesday that told him the Cubs will “not be outbid” on Tanaka, but “convincing Tanaka to come to Chicago will be hard.” The same source told Kaplan he is not sure Tanaka would turn down either the Yankees or the Dodgers.

Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times reported Rakuten will make an official announcement they decided to post Masahiro Tanaka later in the day on Dec. 25 and they have allowed “Ma-Kun” to chase him dreams in the majors.

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  • Neil

    Well, here is the contradicting report … Dylan Hernandez – This is fun: Sports Jiji reporting that Rakuten will not let Tanaka go to the major leagues.

  • Neil

    I will update the news as it surfaces from Japan … two reports to one that he will be posted. And the night is still young.

  • Sahm

    Maybe ive missed it but once he is officially posted how long will the process of finding a team take?

    • Neil

      Teams have 30 days to work out a contract with him.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    At this point…I think many Cubs fans are sick of Tanaka

  • paulcatanese

    Well if Boras represents Tanaka, forget about it.

    • ben

      Roger that. I’m pretty sick of hearing about this guy. But I still really want to see him become a Cub

  • Neil

    Tanaka is meeting with Rakuten right now … 8:07pm CST. Official announcement from the team is expected tonight.

  • GaryLeeT

    Even if it is Japan, his 24-0 record last year is just mind boggling. The Cubs will offer the most money, I just don’t know if that will be enough to land him.

  • Neil

    Rakuten’s president is expected to hold a press conference soon to announce Tanaka will be posted

  • Neil

    Multiple reports are indicating Rakuten has announced Tanaka will be posted

    • GaryLeeT

      Thanks Santa.

  • Mehdi Muhdi

    I wanna remind everyone the last time we got excited about a Japanese player Fukudome was the worst. I also wanna remind people that their pitching really sucks other than yu darvish I hate their pitchers. Their not built for the majors and they don’t face the talent in this leauge to over pay for. I wish he was cuban or domincan I would be excited

    • GaryLeeT

      Was Fukudome THE best player in Japan at the time? A lot of informed observers say that Tanaka has better stuff than Darvish, and I like that he is only 25. I guess, time will tell.

    • Dorasaga

      Fukudome was an on base machine with gap power. His wrist injury took that power away from him. He was a very good right fielder, one that the Cubs never had since.

      I estimated him 8M per year as a Major League player. GM Hendry overpayed him at 12M x 4 years. Some teams would have paid Fuk 4 years and for 10M, but Hendry way overpriced him to outbid everyone else.

      Merry Christmas, and drop that moneyball for love!!

  • paulcatanese

    Time to sign off for the night and wait for Santa.
    Merry Christmas to everyone on the CCO:)

    • TheWrongGuy

      Merry Christmas to you as well Paul, AND everyone else here at the CCO. :)

    • GaryLeeT

      Same .here. Merry Christmas Paul

    • Neil

      Merry Christmas Paul

    • SuzyS

      Merry Christmas, to you and yours, Paul.

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