Sunday, January 12, 2014

After spending a few day in Los Angeles this past week meeting with any teams that are interested in his services, Masahiro Tanaka has reportedly narrowed his list down to three potential suitors: Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels.

That report is from Sports Hochi out of Tokyo, Japan, and it was translated by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

Hernandez also added that the Yankees are the favorites to sign Tanaka, as they have been view all along. The meetings with Tanaka took place in Beverly Hills, but it's not known who from the Yankees were there, as they have been quite about having any meeting.

According to Nikkan Sports in Japan, Tanaka had met with the Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and about six other teams on January 9th for anywhere between one to two hours each. With his limited time in America, Tanaka kept his meetings with teams short and to the point.

Sponichi in Japan also added that Tanaka could have met with teams like the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, and Toronto Blue Jays on the 10th (US time)/11th (Japan time).

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, Tanaka’s top three cities are Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. That would give the Yankees, Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox the upper-hand in any negotiations, knowing he wants to be there.

Tanaka is the best free-agent on the market, and the number of teams interested in signing him is in double-digits. The $20 million posting fee — which will be paid in four parts over two years — offsets the total amount of his upcoming contract, which is expected to be upwards of $100 million.

He has until 5 p.m. EST on January 24th to sign with an MLB club, or he'll be forced to go back to Japan to play with the Rakuten Golden Eagles until they decide to post him again.

The Yankees came into the offseason with the hopes of re-signing Robinson Cano, then winning the bidding war for Tanaka. Well, Cano left for Seattle, and the Yankees’ rotation could be very subpar should they fail to land him, making their need to him sign even bigger.


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