masahiro tanakaAccording to Sponichi, a legitimate Japanese news outlet, the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided they will post 25-year-old Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka soon, despite the recently-imposed cap of $20 million for a posting fee. Because of that cap, if Tanaka is posted, a large number of MLB teams are expected to negotiate with Tanaka over the course of the month he is permitted to take before he signs.

I don’t speak Japanese, and Google Translate is almost comically bad when it comes to the language, but Dylan Hernandez offers his confirmation of what the Sponichi report says (if not confirmation of the actual report, which remains just one report):

We’ll see if the official announcement comes later tonight or tomorrow. I tend to believe the report, since humans are susceptible to confirmation bias, and I’ve said all along that I fully expected Tanaka to be posted.



As for the Cubs’ involvement, they are expected to be in on the negotiations with Tanaka. As a 25-year-old starting pitcher with front-of-the-rotation potential, he’s a perfect fit for the rebuilding Cubs (and 29 other teams, but who’s counting?). Bruce Levine says the Cubs will be in:

And Dave Kaplan hears that the Cubs will pony up the money necessary to stay in the hunt:

Of course, if the money is around the same from the top bidders, the Cubs will have to sell Tanaka on coming to Chicago, which might not be as attractive a destination as somewhere on the West Coast or New York:



Again: this is not the official announcement of Tanaka’s posting. This is just one (translated) report. If and when Tanaka is actually posted, the rumors will *really* heat up. It will be the Cubs’ opportunity to demonstrate their financial ability and overall attractiveness to the top free agents they actually target.

UPDATE (6:30pm CT): Apropos of my initial “just one report” warning, it wouldn’t be a Tanaka story without a big ‘ole howeva …


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