Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be one of the most sought-after players on baseball’s free agent market this winter. Someone will almost surely pay the 25-year-old right-hander a ton of money, and apparently the New York Yankees are willing to do just that to get him. Tanaka is considered by far the best free agent pitcher available this winter but there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding him as far as when bidding will take place, who his agent will be and just what he is seeking for a contract. That said, it is all but guaranteed that Tanaka will become the most expensive import in baseball history. The Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Giants are almost certain to bid on him, while some smaller market teams will likely get involved as well. This past season in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Eagles. The MLB record for a posting fee is the $51.7 million the Texas Rangers shelled out to land Yu Darvish, who has been fantastic for the team. Tanaka is regarded as a better prospect. One National League executive believed the posting fee for Tanaka could reach $100 million, but other executives said the $75 million range was probably more accurate. And remember, the posting fee is just to earn exclusive negotiating rights to the player, a team would still have to sign him to a contract after that. Early reports suggest the Yankees are going to be the team to beat for Tanaka and they will be willing to lay out a significant chunk of change to win his negotiating rights. While they want to keep their total payroll below $189 million next season, the posting fee for Tanaka won’t count against the luxury tax threshold. Re-signing second baseman Robinson Cano is the top priority for the Yankees, signing Tanaka is second. In seven professional seasons, Tanaka is 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1,238-to-275 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 1,315 innings. He finally suffered a loss during a 160-pitch outing in the Japan Series, but he came back the next day to throw the final 15 pitches of the championship-clinching victory for his team. So yeah, I’d say the guy is a workhorse as well. Right now all signs point to the Yankees winding up with Tanaka.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

Titans have reportedly been 'all over' Marcus Mariota

Report: Browns talked with Redskins about trading up

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers in film room after blowout loss

Jon Jones facing felony charge for leaving scene of crime

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Hamilton officially traded back to Rangers

Report: Landing Adrian Peterson too costly for Cardinals

Report: Antonio Brown joins Steelers voluntary work outs

Charles Barkley: JR Smith should be suspended 10 games

Report: Redskins likely to pick up Robert Griffin III's option

Eagles trying to trade Marcus Smith for another duck?

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

Wizards made Raptors look bad while remaking themselves

Previewing Game 7 showdown between Islanders and Capitals

WATCH: Rick Carlisle tapes mouth shut so he can't rip refs

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the quarterbacks

Greg Hardy faces teammate, Cowboys locker room leak

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Titans have been 'all over' Mariota?

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers after loss

Jon Jones facing felony charge

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.