As per their usual style in free agency, the Los Angeles Angels are a confusing suitor for Japanese free agent Masahiro Tanaka.
Multiple reports last week had Tanaka in Los Angeles and meeting with “multiple teams.” Then we heard from Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that the Angels were among the favorites to land Tanaka:
And according to a weekend report from the Japanese publication Sports Hochi, that combination has made them among three favorites — along with the Yankees and Dodgers — to land coveted 25-year-old right-hander Masahiro Tanaka…
…Tanaka was in Los Angeles last week, where he reportedly underwent a physical examination and met with multiple teams. The Angels are believed to have been among them, but the pursuit of Tanaka has mostly been a mystery, and Tanaka didn’t speak to reporters when he landed at Narita International Airport in Japan on Saturday.
Now Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that general manager Jerry DiPoto said the Angels were not among the teams to meet with Tanaka, little sense though that makes:
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 14, 2014
DiPoto could just be playing it coy or taking advantage of some semantics that allowed for a measure of deniability. Either way, this brings little clarity to where the Angels stand with Tanaka.