Masahiro Tanaka has returned to Japan and the deadline for him to sign with a team is quickly approaching. After meeting with numerous major league teams, the consensus is that the favorites to land Tanaka are the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees.
The top two spending teams in the MLB will be bidding against one another for the services of the Japanase right-hander. Both teams have until January 24 to convince Tanaka to be part of their ball club, but there’s no clear favorite as of now. Rumors indicate that Tanaka’s wife would prefer to be on the West Coast, which could give the Dodgers a slight advantage.
There have been conflicting reports regarding the Dodgers interest in Tanaka. On Friday it was reported that the Dodgers were all in on Tanaka and would not be outbid, but was later contradicted. The Dodgers might be hesitant to engage in a bidding war with the Yankees since they still have pending contract extensions with Clayton Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez.
The addition of Tanaka to the Dodgers’ rotation would easily give them the best rotation in baseball. The Dodgers have done a great job of acquiring talent overseas and making sure they transition smoothly to the big leagues. As assembled right now, the Dodgers have a much better team than the Yankees and the weatger in Los Angeles could also help the Dodgers’ pitch to Tanaka.
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ICYMI: Here’s the latest with the Dodgers pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka