Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka #17 of Japan pitches during the World Baseball Classic. He has been posted to the MLB by his home team, Rakuten.
With just a couple of weeks before Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has to either sign with an MLB club or return to Japan (he'll sign with an MLB club), several national baseball scribes threw spitballs recently on where Tanaka will end up.
Some people have suggested the Texas Rangers are an under-the-radar favorite thanks to the tie between Tanaka and Rangers ace Yu Darvish, who came to Texas two years ago in a similar, though now-altered fashion in the Japanese posting process. The two are workout buddies back home and are presumably friends.
But general manager and team president Jon Daniels has said it time and time again: The Rangers are not interested in adding another expensive player, specifically a starting pitcher.
So where does Tanaka end up? There's been talk that he has a heavy preference to go to a West Coast team, presumably the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Seattle Mariners to give him as easy as possible access to flights home to Japan.
Of the nine writers polled by MLB.com, four said he'd be a New York Yankee, going against the west coast idea. Two writers predicted Tanaka ends up in Seattle, and then one each said Boston, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs.
So there you go. If Tanaka ends up in Texas, it'll definitely be under the radar. But then again, aren't most of the deals the Rangers make under that umbrella?