Thursday, December 26, 2013
It may not mean a thing, but with the clock now ticking for teams to try to sign Japanese free agent Masahiro Tanaka, the star pitcher has chosen Casey Close as his agent. Close's best known client is Yankees captain Derek Jeter.
January 24, 2014 at 5 p.m. EST is hard line in the sand for signing Tanaka to a Major League deal. The 25-year old will head back to Japan and no MLB team will be out $20MM if no terms are agreed upon.
The Yankees, obviously, are going to be major players in trying to add Tanaka to their starting staff at a cost that will reportedly exceed $100MM. And that is not counting the $20MM posting fee. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been very quiet, but are rumored to be ready to whip out their checkbooks as well. It's one of the reasons that they are trying to deal Matt Kemp and as much of the $128MM he's guaranteed over the next six seasons.
The Texas Rangers have been mentioned, but I wouldn't be so sure about that after the $130MM they handed Shin-Soo Choo. The Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, and Boston Red Sox have also been rumored to be highly interested as well and I wouldn't count out Seattle or San Francisco either.