There’s only four days remaining until Masahiro Tanaka must make his decision about which team he wants to sign with. Reports over the weekend from the Japanese publication Nikkan Sports reported that five teams submitted substantial offers for his services.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox are believed to have made offers with reports suggesting the Cubs might “outbid the field”. However, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports talked about why the Dodgers might be the best fit for him:
The Dodgers can offer a pitcher-friendly ballpark, better run support, ideal weather, closer proximity to Japan, and less pressure in a rotation with aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. In many ways, it’s difficult to imagine a better set of circumstances.
Negotiations between teams and Tanaka’s agent, Casey Close, have been kept under wraps and his wife has also weighed in on where she’d like her husband to play for the next handful of seasons. Mai Satoda, Tanaka’s wife, is a pop-star in Japan and it’s been reported that she prefers to live on the West Coast to continue her musical career.
To this point the Dodgers interest has been largely unknown as they haven’t shown the same aggressiveness in the bidding as they did last year with Hyun-Jin Ryu, but GM Ned Colletti has been in contact with Close regularly. If he signs in LA, Tanaka would have less pressure to preform immediately since the Dodgers rotation includes Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu.
Dodger Stadium is considered one of the friendliest parks to pitchers in baseball and of the five teams, the Dodgers are definitely the best team. For every Yu Darvish there’s a Kei Igawa or Daisuke Matsuzaka and putting himself in a better position to succeed might behoove the 25-year-old Tanaka.
ICYMI: Here’s where things stand in the Dodgers pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka