LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rakuten Eagles President Yozo Tachibana says no decision has been made on whether star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be made available to Major League Baseball teams.
Tachibana met with reporters Tuesday at the baseball’s winter meetings. He plans to talk with Tanaka, likely next week.
“First of all, discuss it with him,” Tachibana said. “I don’t know if he wants to do it.”
The New York Yankees are among the team interested in Tanaka, who was a Japan League record 24-0 in the regular season. He then closed out Game 7 as the Eagles won the Japan Series.
“It’s not in our control,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week. “So I don’t know if I can really answer anything other than that.”
Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball have an agreement in principle on a new posting system. If ratified by both sides, there would be a $20 million cap on the fee going to Japanese clubs for players put on the posting market, and any MLB teams bidding the specified price would be able to compete to sign a player.
There is a possibility that Rakuten could ultimately decide not to post Tanaka because of the new fee cap. Tanaka is eligible to be a free agent in two years.
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