The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in the midst of another dreadful, costly season. But with all-world talent on their roster, there’s reason for optimism every Spring, a Spring would could see the Angels sign Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have been scouting the Japanese arm for quite a while and have interest in trying to sign the 24-year-old arm, who is currently 21-0 with a 1.24 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League.
The Angels, who beat the Oakland Athletics, 12-1, Monday night, had a scout in Japan last week to watch Masahiro Tanaka pitch, and they are considering a run at the undefeated Rakuten Eagles right-hander, whom scouts project as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the major leagues.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Tanaka, who features a 94-mph fastball, sharp slider and a superb split-fingered fastball, won’t come cheap. If the Eagles, as expected, post Tanaka, it could cost a major league team $25 million or more just to obtain the rights to negotiate a deal with him.
It’s a pretty high posting price, especially for an arm that many feel won’t be more than a second or third starter, but the Angels are one of the few teams who can afford him – if they so choose.