The latest on some of the top international targets for Major League teams this winter…
- The Angels have been scouting Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and will consider a run at him this offseason, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Tanaka represents a way for the team to upgrade its rotation with a controllable, young arm (Tanaka is currently 24) without having to sacrifice players like Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick in a trade, DiGiovanna adds.
- In his game recap of Tanaka's most recent start (he threw a 10-hit, one-run complete game), Baseball America's Ben Badler cites Japanese media outlet Sanspo in reporting that the Yankees, Red Sox and Diamondbacks all had scouts in attendance once again. All three were said to have scouts in attendance for another recent Tanaka outing. Badler's subscription-only piece includes a full report on Tanaka's performance.
- The Phillies aren't likely to make a play for Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu, a team source told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. The presence of Ryan Howard and Abreu's inability to handle an outfield spot leave them without a place to put him despite the need for right-handed power. Zolecki adds that the Phillies have worked out top prospect Maikel Franco at first base as well, so they could have a power-hitting, right-handed first baseman to eventually replace Howard anyway for a fraction of Abreu's price.