Masahiro Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)
Japanese league pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wants to try his skills against Major League Baseball hitters next season, but his Japanese team reportedly is resisting a new posting system and the move.
MLB's agreement with Nippon Professional Baseball on a new posting system caps the fee for players at $20 million, less than half of what teams paid for Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Any MLB team willing to meet the maximum bid can attempt to sign a posted player within 30 days and must pay the posting fee only if he's signed.
While Tanaka said he's told the Rakuten Eagles that he wants to play in the United States, the team is attempting to convince him to stay.
"I informed my team that I would like them to allow me to test my abilities in Major League Baseball next season," Tanaka said at a news conference Tuesday after a meeting with Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana.
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MLB teams covet Tanaka for his 24-0 record and 1.27 ERA last season, but he is can't make the jump unless the Eagles post him. The Eagles have rejected the new posting terms and want to re-sign Tanaka for next season.
"We told him he is very important to us and we'd like him to stay," Tachibana said.