One of the biggest question marks this offseason has been whether Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka would pitch in Major League Baseball in 2014.
The Japanese sensation, who's said to have the best split-finger fastball in the history of the world, was possibly not going be to be posted by his Nippon Baseball League team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, after MLB revealed new posting rules which cap the posting fee for MLB teams to pay Japanese teams at $20 million. Of course, the Rangers paid in excess of $51 million simply for the exclusive rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish prior to the 2012 season.
Now, teams will be able to bid $20 million and have a shot at Japanese imports such as Tanaka, and the Golden Eagles seemed to not be keen on the idea of posting their gold mine for just $20 million.
Now, it appears they are, as reports came out late Tuesday that Rakuten would be posting Tanaka, after all, which will set off a feeding frenzy of MLB teams looking to get in on the negotiations at the bargain-basement price of $20 million.
The Rangers will almost certainly be one of those teams trying to land the 25-year-old righty, who finished the 2013 season with a 24-0 record and a 1.27 ERA.
Having Yu Darvish already on staff could help the Rangers' chances of landing the potential ace, but other teams will certainly be williing to spend more money on a contract, most notably the New York Yankees, who are looking to bolster a relatively weak, aging staff.