Reports: Japanese RHP Tanaka to be 'posted'
Updated On: Dec 24 2013 08:05:39 PM CST
Right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka might soon be available to all major league teams.
The Rakuten Golden Eagles decided to "post" their pitching ace, allowing him to move to North America, multiple Japanese media outlets reported Tuesday.
Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball recently reached a new agreement that caps the "posting fee" of players moving from Japan to North America at $20 million. The fee is paid to the player's former club, and it buys an MLB team the right to negotiate a contract with the player.
Under the old system, the Japanese team losing a star player to the United States could receive much higher sums, often $50 million-plus.
Tanaka helped Rakuten win its first Japan Series title last season.
"I would like him to stay and help us win another championship," Golden Eagles president Yozo Tachibana said last week.
Tanaka finished 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in the 2013 regular season. He won the Eiji Sawamura Award, the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award, for the second time in three seasons.
According to media reports, teams interested in acquiring Tanaka include the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees.