Masahiro Tanaka will be taking his talents from Japan to the United States. The team he will go to however, remains to be seen.
This, after Tanaka’s Japanese club, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles officially decided to make Tanaka available to all 30 Major League teams.
Any team that agrees to pay the Golden Eagles $20 million dollars will have the right to negotiate a contract with Tanaka who had been abundantly clear all along about his desire to play in America.
The Golden Eagles though at first refused to let him leave before ultimately changing their minds.
The new posting system may have played a role in the Golden Eagles not being so quick to let Tanaka leave.
Under the old system, whichever team bid the highest amount of money would be the only ones allowed to sign the Japanese player. The new system puts a $20 million dollar cap on how much a team can bid, so instead of taking in upwards of $50 million dollars like the Seibu Lions got for Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Golden Eagles will be limited to just $20 million for Tanaka.
Tanaka, 25, went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season in Japan and several teams are expected to be highly interested.
The Yankees, along with the Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Rangers all appear to be going all in for the Japanese star.
For the Yankees, who’s most glaring need right now is starting pitching, signing Tanaka is without a doubt the teams number 1 priority. A source from Chicago however said the Cubs will not be outbid for Tanaka’s services.
Tanaka immediately becomes the best pitcher on the market so expect the bidding to be the most intense of any Japanese player ever.
The war has seemingly already begun.