April 9, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; General view of opening week logo on field before the Los Angeles Angels play against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Free Agency: Masahiro Tanaka chooses agent, getting closer to Major League deal


About a week or two ago, the front office of the Rakuten Golden Eagles weren’t sure if they were going to post Masahiro Tanaka because of the low posting fee.

Now that they’ve decided to accept the $20 million posting fee, Masahiro is a couple steps closer to signing with a Major League Baseball team. You obviously need a sports agent when you’re a professional athlete. Every athlete on the planet has an agent that helps bring in the money, makes sure they’re taken care of.

Tanaka had several men interested in him, guys who are tied with some big name stars.

First guy was soon to be 60 year old Arn Tellem. He’s an agent for both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. He represents guys like Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Reggie Miller in the NBA.

In the Major League, he represents Chase Utley, Edwin Encarnacion, Jason Kubel, Reed Johnson, Delmon Young, Kei Igawa just to name a few.

Mike Pieper has been the agent of retired players such as Emmitt Smith, Corey Simon, Deion Sanders, Mariano Rivera, Pedro Martinez and Rod Woodson.

His active list includes Alfonso Soriano, John Wall, Justin Verlander, Koji Uehara, David Ortiz, Ndamukong Suh and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Last guy who stepped up to the plate was Casey Close. I’m sure others tried to throw their names in the mix, but these three stood out the most. Close represents Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira.

He’s had ties with Ryan Howard, Derrek Lee, Ben Sheets, Michael Cuddyer, Richie Sexon and Kenny Lofton.

Tanaka decided it was best if he hired on Close. Close picked up a five year $125 million contract extension for Ryan Howard back in 2010. His biggest was a 10 year contract extension worth $189 million for Derek Jeter in 2000 with the New York Yankees.

So it’s safe to say that Close should be able to bring Tanaka at least a five year, $100 million deal.

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka Rakuten Golden Eagles