Yozo Tachibana, president of Masahiro Tanaka's Rakuten Golden Eagles, will arrive at the Winter Meetings in Orlando today, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Tachibana's appearance may lend some clarity as to whether or not Tanaka will be posted.
Passan adds that Rakuten owner Hiroshi Mikitani is one of Japan's most successful businessmen and is not known as one who will "kowtow to convention." As such, Tanaka's situation may not be as simple as merely honoring his wish and allowing him to pitch in the Majors. Rakuten can hold onto Tanaka, sell him on defending their Japan Series title despite a likely salary around $5MM, and post him next offseason. As Passan notes, even if Tanaka were to suffer an injury, teams may still be willing to gamble on a $20MM posting fee for him.
Major League executives remain split on whether or not Tanaka will be posted; one NL executive told Passan today that he thinks Tanaka will be posted, while an AL official told him he thinks Tanaka will remain in Japan.