That hasn’t stopped the Dodgers from having interest in Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero and they’ve reportedly signed 19-year-old Japanese pitcher Takumi Numata, though there could be some problems in that becoming official.
However, according to Mark Saxson of ESPNLA.com, the Dodgers have scouted Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka:
The best pitcher in the Japanese league has already lured both Southern California teams across the Pacific. The Dodgers, like the Angels, have scouted Japanese right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, according to a source. Tanaka is 21-0 with a 1.24 ERA for the Rakuten Eagles and he could benefit from what is a mediocre crop of free-agent pitchers on the market this fall.
In the article, Saxson speculates the Dodgers scouted Tanaka while they were looking at Numata as scouts Isao O’Jimi and Pat Kelly have been heavily involved in the process.
Where Tanaka would fit into the Dodgers plans is a different story as Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are both coming off injury, while they maintain there’s interest in signing impending free agent Ricky Nolasco.
Not doing their due diligence on Tanaka would be foolish, but it remains to be seen if they’ll pay the steep posting fee as Saxson speculates it could be “$25-million or more”. Just last year, the Dodgers paid $26 million to talk to Ryu and his representatives before signing him to a lucrative six-year contract.
With a weak free agent crop of starting pitchers in the winter, the Dodgers seem to be exploring all options of adding another starting pitcher to the mix.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez returning to the lineup tonight.