Dodgers ready to 'go all-out' for Japanese pitcher Tanaka
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Friday that the Dodgers "have let it be known they plan to go all-out in their efforts to sign (Masahiro) Tanaka," the Japanese pitching sensation who is coming over from the Nippon Professional Baseball league this offseason.
That is horrible news for any other team looking to sign Tanaka. A new maximum posting fee of $20 million dollars has allowed smaller clubs to get in on the negotiations with players from the NPB, but the big money clubs can still offer Tanaka as much as they want once negotiations begin. With the Dodgers involved, Tanaka's price will be driven up significantly, which will likely eliminate many of the teams who were hoping to have a shot at the 25-year-old.
Tanaka visited Los Angeles on Thursday to undergo a physical, which was strictly to make sure that he has not worn down due to a massive workload over the past few years. Nightengale's report a day later suggests that everything went smoothly during the physical.
The Anaheim Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Chicago White Sox have all shown interest in Tanaka, but many of those teams may pull out of the race once the Dodgers put forth an offer. If the Dodgers are truly dead set on signing Tanaka, they are the heavy favorites to land him, while the Yankees and Mariners could also offer a monster contract to compete for the hurler's services.