According to Arizona Sports 620’s John Gambadoro, the Arizona Diamondbacks will in fact be one of the teams in play for the services of Masahiro Tanaka, the 25-year-old Japanese pitcher who was posted Thursday.
“The Arizona Diamondbacks have had initial discussions with Casey Close, the agent for Masahiro Tanaka,” Gambadoro said on Friday’s Burns & Gambo Show. “That is the first step. They are not alone. There are several teams that will be having discussions with Casey Close. He represents Masahiro Tanaka, as well as Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke. He also represents Derek Jeter.
“He is the agent. The Diamondbacks have reached out to him. They have had discussions regarding Tanaka. And they will have more discussions.”
The news comes just a day after ESPN.com baseball insider Jim Bowden detailed the five teams most likely to land Tanaka, with the D-backs failing to make the list.
Largely considered the gem of the Major League Baseball free agency market, Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season with his Nippon Professional Baseball team, the Rakuten Eagles.
According to MLB spokesman Michael Teevan, all bids must be submitted by Jan. 24 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Based on a new agreement between MLB and NPB, posting fees for Tanaka will be capped at $20 million.