Reports Say Japanese Phenom Masahiro Tanaka Will Post For MLB After Season

masahiro tanaka

Brett Bull of the New York Times reports that 24-year old Japanese pitching phenom Masahiro Tanaka, who improved to 20-0 on the season after a 3-2 complete game victory last night, will request to be posted for Major League Baseball at the end of this season.

News media outlets in Japan are suggesting that Tanaka will request the Eagles put him up for auction via the posting system later this year. Such a move will make him the most sought-after Japanese export since Yu Darvish, one of baseball’s best pitchers, and a member of the Texas Rangers for the last two seasons.

With last night’s victory, Tanaka now has 24 consecutive wins, a streak that matches the major league mark in the United States set by the New York Giants’ Carl Hubbell in 1936-37.

Interestingly enough, his latest win came thanks to a tie-breaking homer from former Mets Kazuo Matsui. What were the betting odds on that happening? After recording the final out on a called third strike, he emphatically pumped his fist toward third base as the home crowd of 22,316 roared.

“It was a true team effort,” Tanaka said. “In the future, I’ll do my best to continue.”

The 6-foot-2 right-hander has an arsenal that includes a fastball that touches 95 mph, a sharp-breaking slider and a split-finger fastball. In his 24 starts this season, he has 1.24 ERA while striking out 155 batters over 181 innings. It’s the third straight season he’s has an ERA under 2.00, and earlier this season he had a streak of 42 scoreless innings.

What’s amazing here is that he’s only 24 and getting better. Earlier this week, Ben Badler of Baseball America tweeted the following:

If his team does post him this Fall or Winter, expect some high bids from teams like the Dodgers, D’Backs, Rangers, Mariners, Yankees and Braves. All six teams were on hand to see him win his 20th game.

“I’ve always liked his slider, but his split-finger has really come on in the last couple of seasons,” said one MLB scout. “He definitely has enough velocity to play at the major league level, and the other two pitches would compete for sure.”

I know I’m just dreaming, but I miss the days when the Mets wouldn’t be discounted from any serious pursuit of players like Tanaka or Cuban sensation Jose Abreu.

7 thoughts on “Reports Say Japanese Phenom Masahiro Tanaka Will Post For MLB After Season

  1. I don’t care.

    Every year some hot prospect from Japan comes out and everyone goes crazy.

    We are bankrupt and so will not bid. Plus I like our staff. Yes we will lose our Ace for one year but we have Harvey, Wheeler Niese, Mejia, Gee, etc.

    I don’t need to pay $200M to get a pitcher that may be great or may just suck. Who was the last Yankee pitcher to come out of Japan that they paid about $200M for and he just sucked? I can’t remember the name. And then there is the guy pitching for us, Dice K. He did well for Boston right?

  2. I can’t think of a team that needs pitching more than the yankees or a team more willing to spend than the dodgers so as a Met fan why would I get excited about this guy?

  3. You guys are way too harsh on Japanese pitchers. Sure, there were the Irabus and Matsuzakas, but look at this year:

    Yu Darvish, 2.84 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
    Hisashi Iwakuma, 2.97 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
    Hiroki Kuroda, 2.99 ERA, 1.12 WHIP
    Koji Uehara, 1.08 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 19 saves

    That said, as a Yankee fan, I would not want my team spending $50 million just to have the privilege of bidding for Tanaka, assuming the process and money is the same as it was for other highly-anticipated Japanese pitchers who posted. The risk is too great, just ask the Red Sox, who paid $100 million to get one decent season out of Matsuzaka.