Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese pitching phenom, is going to be posted by his Japanese baseball club the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
All clubs that plan to bid for him will post the maximum $20 million pay-to-play fee, and only the team that ends up signing him will end up paying the posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
According to Jim Bowden, the Yankees are the number one contender to get Tanaka. That is no surprise considering the Yanks’ pitching sucks and they are sitting on a steaming pile of cash just waiting to be
He also cites the Angles, Rangers, Dodgers, and Braves as teams that will be in on the bidding war.
I can’t say that I fully expect any of these teams to really compete with the Yankees to sign Tanaka. The Bombers need him the most, have the biggest pockets, and are out for vengeance as missing the playoffs is a very rare occurrence for them.
I don’t really expect the Mariners to be in the Tanaka sweepstakes. Jack Z has said the M’s have reached their payroll limit, and although I don’t know if he truly means it, I am skeptical of the M’s potentially making another HUGE signing.
However, Hisashi Iwakuma could have some influence on Tanaka coming to Seattle, but other teams have Japanese pitchers too. The Yankees have Hiroki Kuroda and the Rangers have Yu Darvish.
Anyway, I believe Tanaka being posted will open the floodgates to the remaining moves that will be made this offseason, as many of the free agents were waiting to see where Tanaka fell, if he did at all, to make their next move.
I fully expect within days of the Tanaka saga conclusion, the M’s will sign Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza, or Ervin Santana, or some other (perhaps relief?) pitcher. I’ll put the odds of the Yankees signing Tanaka versus the field signing Tanaka at 45-55. Maybe 50-50.