The race to add Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka is now underway and will continue until 5:00 PM on January 24. Tanaka will have to sign with a team by that date and teams can bid the maximum $20 million posting fee to join in the sweepstakes for the young hurler. However, only the signing team will be on the hook for the posting fee which will not count toward a team’s payroll.
Plenty of teams are expected to pursue Tanaka, but the New York Mets will not be one of them. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he does not intend to bid on Tanaka, according to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal.
Tanaka, 25, went a record 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles last season and led his team to the Japan Series title. Overall, the right-hander has a career mark of 99-35 with 18 shutouts and a 2.30 ERA in seven seasons in Japan.
The New York Yankees are considered heavy favorites to land Tanaka, but they’ll get some expected competition from the Dodgers, Cubs, Braves, Rangers and Diamondbacks.