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Report: Tanaka's Japanese team will not let him go to MLB

TSN.ca Staff

12/19/2013 10:37:21 AM

One of the most sought after hurlers in the MLB off-season might be off the market -for everybody.

Several Japanese newspapers reported Thursday that Masahiro Tanaka will stay in his home country.

The Rakuten Golden Eagles control the rights to Tanaka until the end of 2015 and will reportedly not allow major league teams to bid for him.

Instead, they are willing to make him the highest paid Japanese pitcher in history by offering him up to triple his current annual salary of approximately $4 million.

By retaining the 25-year-old, the Eagles lose the chance of obtaining a $20 million compensatory posting fee from whatever team that signed him.

The New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers are reportedly interested in Tanaka.

The Eagles would still be able to post him after next season before he becomes a free agent in two years.

The 6'2 right-hander finished the regular season with a 24-0 record, posting a 1.27 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. He won his second Eiji Sawamura Award as Japan's best pitcher and also took home the Pacific League MVP.

In seven seasons with the Eagles, his ERA is 2.30 and his WHIP is 1.108.