We’ve reached the final week of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes, with the days winding down before his 5pm EST deadline to sign with a Major League team this Friday, January 24th, but it’s possible that we could see a decision from the Japanese right-hander come sooner than that deadline.
Tanaka’s decision should come Tuesday or Wednesday to allow time for further medical exams to take place prior to the Friday deadline, an AL scout tells David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.
As Kaplan pointed out, even if a deal is in place between Tanaka and an MLB club, everything must be completely done by the 5pm deadline. If things don’t wrap up beforehand, Tanaka will be forced to go back to Japan, and will wait another year to come to the big leagues.
Tanaka will reportedly command a contract in the range of $120 million over six-years, and according to Nikkan Sports in Japan the Arizona Diamondbacks, one of five teams to have made him an offer — the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Yankees being the other four teams — have given him an offer similar to the one listed above.
The Dodgers and Yankees have made similar offers, according to Nikkan. The Cubs are reportedly trying to make a big run after him and are willing to throw all the cash necessary at him, but the same AL scout told Kaplan that the Cubs’ current state will make it very hard for them to land him, and they are currently seen as “long shots.”
As for the Yankees, we know they need him very badly, and Ken Davidoff of the NY Post says the have made a “very aggressive”offer, and that they “would rather win on Tanaka and lose on their luxury-tax goal.”
The wait is almost over, Tanaka is coming to America, and we’ll soon know if the Yankees will get the man they’ve hoping for more than anything this offseason.