Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Waiting Continues As Friday Deadline Nears

Masahiro-TanakaThe baseball world received an early wake-up call this morning when rumors started swirling that Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka sent out a tweet that was translated to suggest that he’s made his decision. After a short panic, it was revealed that the tweet incorrectly translated and actually meant, “I can’t decide” from Patrick Newman of NPBTracker.

The tweet is reportedly in reference to his Twitter avatar, which could change once he decides which team he’ll play for. Tanaka’s deadline to sign with a team is Friday at 2 pm PST, but any further medical or physical exams must be completed before then. Here’s the tweet that had everyone scrambling to find out where he signed:

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 11.23.47 AM


Five teams have formally made offers to the 25-year-old right-hander as he’s held the entire MLB free agent market hostage. The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox are the five teams vying for his services and it’s still hard to figure out what he ultimately wants.

There have been reports that his wife prefers to live on the West Coast since she’s a pop-star in Japan and would like to continue here music career. While the Dodgers interest has always been there, but some executives told Joel Sherman of the New York Post they’ll do what it takes to land him:

And there are certainly executives who believe they will bid what is necessary – even after giving Clayton Kershaw $215 million and Zack Greinke $147 million – to get Tanaka, who is just 25.

The Dodgers can certainly justify handing out another nine-figure contract for a pitcher since Josh Beckett and possibly Chad Billingsley and Dan Haren could be off the payroll for the 2015 season. As one executive told Sherman, Dodgers president Stan Kasten had Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz in Atlanta and could have Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Tanaka and Hyun-Jin Ryu in LA.

With the finish line in sight, the Tanaka sweepstakes are certianly heating up as the Dodgers are right in the thick of things.

Here are some more updates from various media outlets:

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports-

A Japanese publication Sponichi suggests the Dodgers are one of three finalists and a decision could be made in 24 hours: 

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140122-00000002-spnannex-base (Again, take Japanese reports with a grain of salt)


ICYMI: Here’s where the Dodgers stand in their pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka


Ross Gasmer

Ross Gasmer is a Social Media Producer for @TheHerd and was a contributing writer and editor for Dodger Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Ross_Gasmer12

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