Here is a quick update in regards to the next big pitcher to come from overseas, Masahiro Tanaka. For those of you who have not been following this pitching machine, Tanaka just lost for the first time since August of 2012.
Tanaka is currently pitching in Japan for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Hisashi Iwakuma’s former ball club. Tanaka and the Golden Eagles clinched the 2013 title in the Nippon Series in Japan on Sunday.
Tanaka posted a 24-0 regular season record along with a 1.27 ERA, and just lost on Saturday for the first time in 30 decisions. Tanaka has been so good, the last time he lost was August of 2012!
Here is Tanaka’s stat line for Saturday’s loss:
9 IP, 4 ER, 12 Hits, 7 SO, 1 BB, 160 Pitches
Saturday was likely the last time that Masahiro starts a game in Japan as he should be heading across the globe to the MLB. There has been much excitement and anticipation as teams such as the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and (hopefully) the Seattle Mariners will look to pitch a bid to win Tanaka’s services next season.
Luckily for Mariners fans, Major League Baseball is close to a new posting system agreement, giving Japanese players a voice in the bidding process. This could be good news for the Mariners because it looks like we have somewhat of a long shot at bringing in Tanaka.
Hopefully the fact that Tanaka and Iwakuma were teammates for four years and that there are direct flights from SEATAC to Japan will persuade him to choose us over clubs like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
With how much attention this guy is getting, prepare to see figures compared to what the Texas Rangers had to cough up for Yu Darvish. Maybe our 720 billion dollar franchise will find a way to spare 50 million dollars to bring Tanaka to the Pacific Northwest.