Nippon Professional Baseball and the MLB agreed to new posting rules on Monday, December 16, so that the Rakuten Golden Eagles (Tanaka's former club) can receive some grievance if they lose their pitcher (max $20 million on posting fee). Shortly after, Tanaka told the Golden Eagles wanted to come to the MLB. And on Tuesday, Tanaka's wishes were fulfilled; he was posted to the Major Leagues.
Over his Japanese career, 25-year-old Masahiro Tanaka has pitched beautifully. Over his seven year NPB career, Tanaka is 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. In 2013, Tanaka was practically perfect, pitching to a 24-0 record, a 1.27 ERA, and a 0.94 WHIP. Including the postseason, Tanaka was 30-0 in 2013. Tanaka should be a solid pitcher in the Major Leagues and could make a ton of money starting this offseason.
The Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, are the largest suitors for the right-hander. More teams will show interest now that they know Tanaka has been allowed to come the MLB. The Golden Eagles will likely have a release fee of the maximum $20 million. Every team that puts in their $20 million will be allowed to negotiate with Tanaka, but the team that signs him will be the only team to pay the Golden Eagles $20 million. At this point, it seems like every team should put in the $20 million.