Tanaka has landed.
Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka arrived in the U.S. on Thursday, the biggest news of an otherwise slow day on the Hot Stove.
Tanaka, 25, was scheduled to meet with as many as 12 Major League teams in Los Angeles before Friday. He is the most sought-after pitcher after going 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year in Japan, and has until January 24 to reach a deal.
Other news and notes from Thursday:
- Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander underwent abdominal surgery on Thursday to fix a preexisting injury he reaggravated during conditioning drills. He will be on the shelf for the next six weeks but should be fine for Opening Day.
- Rays manager Joe Maddon isn’t worried about his club’s lack of a full-time designated hitter. Tampa Bay also inked infielder Jayson Nix to a Minor League deal and an invite to Spring Training.
- The Angels are impressed with Mark Mulder’s retooled delivery.
- News on the Mets’ first base and shortstop situations within this notebook.
- Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage said in a radio interview he thinks right-hander A.J. Burnett is going to retire.
- Pittsburgh’s farm system was ranked No. 1 by Baseball America.
- The Brewers continue to look for relievers.
- Indians right-hander Vinnie Pestano is ready for 2014.
- A’s right-hander Sonny Gray is looking forward to his first full big league season.
- Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs is ready to join his new team.
- Could Frank Thomas’ Hall of Fame election lead to enshrinement for former Mariners DH Edgar Martinez?
- Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman hopes he can crack the rotation out of Spring Training.
- The Padres will host a memorial service for Jerry Coleman on Jan. 18.
- MLB.com’s Bill Ladson fields Nationals questions in his inbox.
- Giants reporter Chris Haft does the same in his inbox for San Francisco fans.
- The Tigers invited 16 to Spring Training, as did the Royals.
- The Twins invited 23 to Spring Training, highlighted by top prospect Byron Buxton.
- The Marlins signed six to Minor League deals and invited 16 others to Spring Training.
- The Orioles announced their Minor League managers and coaches. So did the Astros and the Rangers.
- Cash Kruth