Posted December 19, 2013

Report: Japanese team won’t let ace Masahiro Tanaka go to MLB

MLB
Masahiro Tanaka (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Masahiro Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season in Japan. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Prized Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is not expected to be posted by his current team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, thus keeping him from playing Major League Baseball for at least another year, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing reports from Japanese newspapers.

The reigning Pacific League MVP is under control by Rakuten until the end of the 2015 season, although the club could decide to post the 25-year-old next winter.

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The Yankees, Dodgers and Rangers were among the teams expected to bid for his services, but a new agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball limited the maximum posting fee to $20 million.

Rakuten was hoping Tanaka would land a larger fee than the record $51.7 million the Rangers paid for pitcher Yu Darvish.

Tanaka, who expressed interest in playing in the U.S., went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season in leading the Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title.

As compensation for not signing a larger contract with an MLB team, Rakuten said it will offer to double or triple Tanaka’s $4 million salary, according to the Times.

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4 comments
tfaw
tfaw

could be the best pitcher in the world right now...  on a side note, why can't MLB change the name of the "World Series"  ?

James W2
James W2

Truly sad, especially if the young man comes up with arm trouble next year and loses out on a huge payday. I guess the billionaire's ego is more important to him than the kids welfare and future. Let's hope he doesn't get injured.

WTFdude
WTFdude

Oh, FYI Masahara, do to a big city team, they would sell their mother at this point, to have cable rights to Japan!!! not to mention you can write your own ticket?? sheesh no wonder you look p!$$ed in this picture

WTFdude
WTFdude

let's see double $4 million for the next two years. ok, $8 million or $12 million vs. 50+ hmmmm. Ok, I don't say 8 - 12 million ain't a lot, and I'm not sure how much goes to taxes, but I'm sure, in the back of his head, and the owners head, this guy ain't gonna bust it out playing for this team. He's got to save his arm for the big pay off down the road. Heck, if I thought this, then he AND his rep. thought this, boy, he must be pissed! Just suck it up for two more years dude, oh, call Darvish and ask him how it feels, wait, Darvish didn't pick up because he's still counting his money? classic.