Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, citing the Sponichi website in Japan, reported that Casey Close will serve as Tanaka's agent. Close also represents Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Derek Jeter.
All 30 major league teams were notified that the 30-day period to sign the star 25-year-old right-hander began at 8 a.m. ET Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Clubs have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 24 to attempt to reach an agreement with the ace.
Only the signing team will pay the Rakuten Golden Eagles the $20 million posting fee, with Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News referencing an MLB spokesman in adding that teams don't have to place a formal bid, but have to be willing to pay the fee if they sign Tanaka. All 30 teams can negotiate with Tanaka, per Feinsand, but he doesn't have to meet with every team.
The Japanese right-hander's Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, reportedly revealed late Tuesday night that it will make him available to MLB teams through the posting system. Rakuten president Yozo Tachibana announced the decision, according to Hernandez.
Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and led the Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title, is expected to set off a feeding frenzy. The right-hander has also starred in the World Baseball Classic, and he's gone 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA in seven seasons in Japan.
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