Report: Rakuten offers Masahiro Tanaka record contract

Dec 11, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Rakuten Golden Eagles president Yozo Tachibana (right) walks through the lobby during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Tachibana has not decided whether or not to allow Masahiro Tanaka (not pictured) to sign with a MLB team now that Nippon Professional Baseball and the MLB have agreed on a $20 Million maximum posting bid. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wants to play in Major League Baseball next season, as was reported earlier.

“I informed my team that I would like them to allow me to test my abilities in Major League Baseball next season,” Tanaka said, via ESPN.

Tanaka said this at a news conference after a meeting with Rakuten Golden Eagles’ President Yozo Tachibana.

Well, the Eagles want him to stay.  You can’t really blame them with his over the top fantastic numbers last season, and the recently enacted posting system that would allow them to only receive $20 million in compensation if he were to leave.

“We told him he is very important to us and we’d like him to stay,” Tachibana said, per

Well, according to NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman, the Rakuten Golden Eagles will offer Tanaka $8 million to stay.  It would be highest ever salary for a Japanese player.

Tanaka is due to make substantially more than that in MLB.  Even without the new posting system, teams would probably give him a great deal more annually.  Tanaka — who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts to just 32 walks last season — will undoubtedly be the subject of a bidding war if and when the Golden Eagles post him.

Per Patrick Newman, the highest-ever contracts in Japan:

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Masahiro Tanaka, MLB, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants

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  • Paul V. Suffriti

    Red Sox are adding another Japanese player to their roster…..maybe to lure the Tanaka. The Sox are World Champs and fellow Japanese players on the team may ease the foreign experience.

  • Jim Harper

    Sounds like he is still a possibility.

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