According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) officials are meeting today to discuss the new posting system. Baseball America’s Ben Badler also adds MLB teams are under the assumption an agreement will be reached, and Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be available.
On Sunday, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported the Japanese baseball officials would visit New York this week to negotiate a new posting system. A new posting system would allow Rakuten Golden Eagles pitcher Tanaka to sign with a Major League team. Once Tanaka signs, other starters might begin to sign as well. The free-agency market for starting pitchers has been quiet as teams wait on Tanaka while position players have been signed.
The Chicago Cubs along with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are reported to show interest in Tanaka. Heyman notes, MLB officials have “renewed hope” for an agreement, Golden Eagles president Yozo Tachibana told the Japan News he thinks an agreement will not be reached until mid-December.
The 6-foot-2, 205 pound Tanaka throws a low-90s fastball and two secondary pitches, including a 70 splitter and a low-to-mid-80s slider and he can also throw a curveball.
The 25-year-old Tanaka represented Japan in the 2013 World Baseball Classic with one start and three relief appearances. He allowed 10 hits and two earned runs with 12 strikeouts and no walks over seven innings.
Tanaka has been compared to Darvish and would fit the Cubs’ need as a top-of-the-rotation young starter.