sb20131029j1c-870x489After being quiet on the subject of Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, Los Angeles Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti revealed that the team is interested in the starting pitcher. Colletti was talking prior to day four of the Dodgers Development Camp at Dodger Stadium for 15 of the top prospects in the organization.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Colletti discussed what they’ve done thus far in their pursuit of Tanaka:

Tanaka is considered the best starting pitcher available this off-season and several teams are reportedly interested in his services. The Dodgers have long been named a favorite for Tanaka due to their payroll and interest in international prospects. Not to mention, there are reports that the 25-year-old right-hander prefers to play on the West Coast.

Colletti and Dodger management denied any interest in Tanaka earlier in the off-season, saying they’re content with the team heading into Spring Training. The Dodgers have long been proponents of signing international talent, including the recent deals with Cubans Yasiel Puig and Alexander Guerrero and Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. The team currently has a rotation of Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett, with Chad Billingsley expected back in the middle of the season.

The 25-year-old was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the NPB last season. He was posted by the Golden Eagles in late December and teams have until January 24 at 2 PM PST to negotiate with the starting pitcher. The team that signs Tanaka will have to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Golden Eagles. The starting pitching market has been slow this off-season, as many teams were waiting for Tanaka to be posted.

The Dodgers are still considered one of the favorites for the 25-year-old and should ramp up their talks in the coming week.

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About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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