Skip to content

Rakuten Golden Eagles will allow Masahiro Tanaka to make the jump to MLB

Dec 24, 2013, 6:25 PM EDT

masahiro tanaka getty japan Getty Images

Some breaking baseball news this Christmas Eve.

Via the translating skills of the Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez, Sponichi in Japan is reporting that the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided to go through with posting right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, allowing him to depart for Major League Baseball.

Rakuten had second thoughts about allowing Tanaka to leave after a new set of posting system rules were instituted this offseason that put a $20 million cap on posting fees. But the 25-year-old Tanaka had already stated a strong desire to jump to baseball’s highest (and richest) level of competition and Rakuten’s higher-ups have ultimately decided not to block his path. Tanaka could have left without permission after the 2015 season, so the clock was ticking anyway.

Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183/32 K/BB ratio in 212 innings (27 starts) this past summer in Nippon Professional Baseball, is expected to command a major league contract worth more than $100 million through the new posting system — which gives much more freedom and opportunity to Japanese players.

To earn the right to bid on Tanaka, a big league team must only commit a totally-refundable $20 million posting fee. There will then be a bidding war, and some of the wealthiest organizations in the sport are expected to get involved. The clubs that lose out on him will have their $20 million fee returned in full.

For reference, the Rangers paid a $51.7 million posting fee in December 2011 for the right to negotiate exclusively with Yu Darvish and then inked the right-hander to a six-year, $56 million major league deal.

UPDATE (1:20 a.m.): Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana confirmed Tanaka will be made available.

Latest Posts
  1. Rays designate Grant Balfour for assignment

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:26 PM EDT

    Grant Balfour Grant Balfour

    Grant Balfour was designated for assignment following a disastrous Saturday night against the Yankees.

  2. Joe Nathan throws off a mound for the first time since suffering an elbow injury

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Joe Nathan Joe Nathan

    Joe Nathan could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Wednesday.

  3. A fun story involving Terry Francona and his dad Tito

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Terry Francona Terry Francona

    If you’re in the mood for a laugh, you’ll want to read this story involving Indians manager Terry Francona and his dad Tito.

  4. Video: Watch Kris Bryant get his first major league hit and RBI

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    Kris Bryant Kris Bryant

    Kris Bryant, one of baseball’s top prospects, earned his first major league hit and RBI on Saturday afternoon against the Padres.

  5. Yordano Ventura ejected for hitting Brett Lawrie with a pitch

    Apr 18, 2015, 8:16 PM EDT

    Yordano Ventura Yordano Ventura

    More drama involving the Athletics and Royals.

  6. There’s some drama about Brett Lawrie apologizing to Alcides Escobar

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Brett Lawrie Brett Lawrie

    Did Brett Lawrie apologize to Alcides Escobar for his hard slide in Friday’s game between the Athletics and Royals? We’re not sure.

  7. Ryan Braun is batting leadoff for the first time in his career

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Ryan Braun Getty Images

    Ryan Braun will lead off for the first time in his career in Saturday’s game against the Pirates.

  8. Giants place Jake Peavy on the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Jake Peavy Jake Peavy

    Jake Peavy is dealing with lower back issues.

  9. UPDATE: Billy Hamilton is day-to-day with right groin soreness

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTc5MTIzY2UzNzg2NGNhZTI2ODExODRkZDlmOWViMmVm Getty Images

    Hamilton suffered the injury beating out an infield single in the eighth inning.

  10. Justin Verlander has throwing session pushed back due to lingering soreness in throwing arm

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander Justin Verlander

    Justin Verlander’s return to the Tigers doesn’t appear imminent.

  11. Josh Hamilton filed for a divorce from his wife in February

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:20 PM EDT

    Los Angels Angels newly acquired outfielder Hamilton talks with reporters as his wife, Katie, looks on during a news conference in Anaheim Reuters

    Hamilton filed for divorce in late February, which is right around the time when word leaked about his offseason drug relapse.

  12. Pete Rose joins FOX as a baseball analyst

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:19 PM EDT

    pete rose getty Getty Images

    You’ll be seeing MLB’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose in FOX’s coverage of baseball this season.

  13. VIDEO: Bryce Harper hit a mammoth home run today vs. the Phillies

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:12 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper AP

    The home run traveled at a distance of 461 feet. My goodness.

  14. Home plate umpire Brian Knight leaves game after being hit in mask by pitch

    Apr 18, 2015, 3:58 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

    Scary moment in today’s Phillies-Nationals game, as home plate umpire Brian Knight was forced to exit after he was hit in the facemask by a pitch in the top of the ninth inning.

  15. Royals closer Greg Holland placed on disabled list with pectoral strain

    Apr 18, 2015, 3:47 PM EDT

    Greg Holland AP

    Greg Holland has been one of the game’s best relievers dating back to 2011, but the Royals will have to make due without him for a little while.

  16. Matt Holliday exits game with back tightness

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:56 PM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    The Cardinals are calling Holliday’s exit “precautionary,” so it’s probably safe to consider him day-to-day.

  17. Marlins claim left-hander Matt Tracy off waivers from Yankees

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:27 PM EDT

    Matt Tracy AP

    Tracy, 26, was designated for assignment by the Yankees last Sunday.

  18. Yunel Escobar to undergo MRI for groin injury

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    The Nats’ infield depth is being tested in the early part of the season.

  19. Jonathan Schoop diagnosed with PCL tear and MCL sprain in right knee

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT

    poses on photo day at Ed Smith Stadium on March 1, 2015 in Sarasota, Florida. Getty Images

    Schoop was off to a nice start so far this season, batting .259 (7-for-27) with three home runs and a .940 OPS over nine games.

  20. Reds activate Homer Bailey from disabled list to make season debut

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT

    Homer Bailey AP

    Reds right-hander Homer Bailey landed on the disabled list at the end of spring training while he completed his rehab from surgery to repair a tear of the flexor tendon in his elbow, but he has been activated to make his season debut this afternoon against the Cardinals.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (4345)
  2. D. Salazar (3620)
  3. D. Span (3498)
  4. A. Rodriguez (3405)
  5. A. Ottavino (3353)
  1. B. Gardner (3303)
  2. M. Brantley (3297)
  3. D. Mesoraco (3240)
  4. A. Guerrero (3215)
  5. Y. Puig (3176)