Tanaka meetings reportedly begin
The pursuit for Japan’s Masahiro Tanaka has reportedly reached U.S. soil.
Multiple international outlets have reported the sought-after righty arrived in America on Wednesday to begin taking meetings with a number of MLB clubs who hope to sign him.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports Tanaka could see approximately 12 teams by Friday in the L.A. area, with the Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox, Yankees and D-backs among those most interested. Heyman also reports Tanaka is scheduled to see an L.A. area doctor, who could provide a medical update to the interested teams.
Tanaka, 25, had a 2.30 ERA in seven seasons in Japan — including 24-0 and 1.27 last year — and is expected to fetch a contract in the $100M range. He was posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles in December and has until Jan. 24 to reach a deal. If he and agent Casey Close can’t work out an agreement, Tanaka will return to Japan to play next year.
Heyman reports there has also been interest from the Blue Jays, Mariners, Twins and Rangers, but says there has been no mention of any meetings between those parties.
— Joey Nowak