The Rakuten Golden Eagles are set to release and post Masahiro Tanaka for the major leagues next season, getting past its initial reluctance to post the star pitcher. The announcement was made by Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana in a news conference last Wednesday.
Tanaka’s 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA record and stellar performance in the past seven years was the key to allowing him to move to the majors said Tachibana. Tanaka still has 2 years remaining on his contract and the Eagles didn’t want to release him yet but the team recognized his effort and willingness to try the majors. “I’m grateful to the team for allowing me to try. Now I’ve made the first step,” the pitcher said. “I hope I would receive offers from as many teams as possible so I have a wider option.”
While a lot of Major League Baseball teams are expected to sign Tanaka, The New York Yankees are considered the leading candidate to do so. However, with the new posting system that limits the posting fee to $20 million, a provision that the Eagles rejected, many other teams are expected to give the Yankees a tough time. The Rakuten Eagles are happy and eager to keep Tanaka should he fail to make an agreement with any MLB team.
[via USA Today]