Right handed Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka was expected to be one of the hottest pitching free agents this Winter has seen since Yu Darvish.
Well he still could, he just has to decide if he wants to come play in the States. If you haven’t heard of Tanaka, he had a perfect record of 24-0 during the 2013 season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japanese Pacific League.
He pitched eight complete games, two shut outs and even recorded one save in 212 innings of work. Tanaka struck out 183 batters and was only charged with 30 earned runs on top of an ERA of 1.27.
According to Baseball America, the Rakuten Golden Eagles will in fact speak with Tanaka to see if he wants to leave Japan or not. If he does want to leave, they’ll allow him to do just that.
Tanaka could always ride out the final two years of his contract in Japan then leave on his own terms without having to his team worried about getting money back for him. It could hurt the kind of market he would get if he has a couple down hill seasons.
It’ll be tough to post the same stats as he did this season, but if he’s able to do it if he decides to stay in Japan, imagine the type of deal he would get.
A decision should be made within the next week or so.