Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 11/9/13

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

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

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

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker