An ESPN list released Wednesday detailing the five major league baseball teams with the best shot at Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, whose posting period begins Thursday, excluded the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The list, titled ‘Five teams with the best shot at Tanaka’ (subscription required), had the New York Yankees as the top prospective team with a shot at the Japanese star.
The Los Angeles Angels (2), Texas Rangers (3), Los Angeles Dodgers (4) and Atlanta Braves (5) rounded out the list.
Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with his Nippon Professional Baseball team, the Rakuten Eagles, during the regular season. Any team wanting to lure Tanaka from the Eagles will need to pay posting fees, which have been capped at $20 million under a new set of terms agreed to between MLB and Nippon.
Bidding is currently underway for the 25-year-old right-hander. All bids must be submitted by Jan. 24 at 5:00 p.m. EST, according to Major League Baseball spokesman Michael Teevan.
The Diamondbacks’ exclusion from the ESPN list, which was authored by Jim Bowden, stands contrary to previous reports, which had the team pegged as one of the frontrunners for Tanaka.