As we await the Rakuten Golden Eagles’ official decision on whether to post 25-year-old Japanese righty Masahiro Tanaka, we can certainly put to bed any doubt on where he stands on the issue.
“I informed my team that I would like them to allow me to test my abilities in Major League Baseball next season,” Tanaka said early this morning (well, our time) at a press conference, per ESPN, after a meeting with Rakuten’s president, Yozo Tachibana.
That’s pretty black and white, and now Rakuten faces the following choice: allow Tanaka, their best player, to go for $20 million (a very healthy sum, relatively speaking); or hold onto him and face the possibility that he’s an incredibly pissed off pitcher all season long. Hell, Tanaka didn’t even provide them an out for 2015, given that he added “next season” to his request. He wants to come to MLB right now.
Not to sound like a broken record, but I still can’t see any way they actually hold him back, especially now that he’s publicly said he wants to come to the States. We will see Tanaka posted, and it could come as soon as later today.