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December 26, 2013

Rumor Roundup

Tanaka Time

by Daniel Rathman


Masahiro Tanaka officially posted by Rakuten
In a decision first reported by Japanese outlet Sponichi and translated by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided to allow their ace right-hander to move to the majors.

A few details regarding the process trickled out on Christmas Day:

  • The posting period begins today and will end at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on January 24, according to New York Daily News Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand.
  • Feinsand also noted that the pool of teams with which Tanaka can negotiate will not be limited at the outset to those who submit a $20 million bid to Rakuten. Instead, Tanaka can discuss a major-league deal with any team, provided that the club is willing to send the maximum posting fee to Rakuten after it signs him to a contract.
  • Tanaka did not have an agent when the saga began earlier this winter, but he has reportedly hired Casey Close to represent him as the bidders line up.

The full market for the 25-year-old Tanaka should become clearer now that he is officially available, though we already know of five likely suitors. ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweeted on Thursday night that the Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Rangers, and Yankees “are among the teams to watch” when Close can officially begin fielding offers.

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