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Rakuten Golden Eagles offer Masahiro Tanaka an $8 million salary to remain in Japan

Dec 18, 2013, 8:51 PM EDT

NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman translated the report from Sports Hochi in Japan …

It would be the highest single-season salary ever given out to a Nippon Professional Baseball player, but it seems unlikely to sway the 25-year-old right-hander, who has a publicly-stated desire to make the jump to Major League Baseball this offseason. He can probably double that salary in the United States given the setup of the new posting system, which will essentially be a bidding war between all of the teams willing to meet the $20 million posting max. Some of the richest clubs in Major League Baseball — like the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs and Angels — are expected to try for Tanaka when the Rakuten Golden Eagles finally post him.

Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183/32 K/BB in 212 innings this past summer in Japan.

  1. nyeagles10 - Dec 18, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    haha . you hear that Yankees only 8 million a year. we eat 8 million on bench players. pack your bags ichiro will greet u at the gate

    • davidbrentfan - Dec 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      Meeting Tanaka at the airport- that would probably be the most useful thing Suzuki would do for the Yankees for the remainder of his contract.

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 18, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Put yourself in Tanaka’s place. Rakuten’s offer $8MM potential salary from a MLB Team $$18 to $20MM per. It doesn’t seem like a tough decision at all.

    • braddavery - Dec 18, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      That along with the risk of a bad season or injury makes this a pretty simple decision for Hero.

      • gothapotamus90210 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:23 AM

        Beyond the culture / pride pitch, I could see Rakuten trying to say he’ll be worth more on the market in two years since there won’t be a posting fee. Let’s assume they offer him 2/$20M for these years, then try and pitch to him he could get 7/140 in two years. Where as now he’d get $80M-$100M (just a guess).

        If I was Tanaka, I’d rather take the $80M now from MLB, rather than $20M from Rakuten and hedge he’ll get $140 in two years. Not to mention, a 5-6 year deal now would put him at free agency sooner in the MLB, so if he performs well, he’d have another shot at a big contract.

  3. cackalackyank - Dec 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    I guess Tanaka is the only thing putting butts in the seats for Rakuten. Go figure, they could get $20 million in their pockets for posting him, but instead they would double his salary to keep him. Since he has 2 years left that is a 28 million dollar swing. Then this time in 2015 he leaves anyway and then they do not have him or the 28 million bucks. Brilliant!

  4. nymets4ever - Dec 18, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Whoa, 8 mil…this could change everything.

  5. fatediesel - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Rakuten is being generous offering him that. He’s under contract for 2 more years so it’s not his decision if he stays in Japan or comes to the US.

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