AL Notes: Sano, Figgins, Washington, Rangers

All MLBTR readers are familiar with the MLB hot stove, but the biggest factor on the 2013-14 offseasion hails from abroad. As you are no doubt aware, Masahiro Tanaka spent his entire career to date in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Rakuten posted Tanaka, and stands to collect $20MM once Tanaka signs with a big league club. Tanaka was the best player on last year's Japan Series-winning Golden Eagles club. But how did Rakuten build that championship team, when the franchise was not even formed until 2005? Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker details the rise of the Golden Eagles, which featured the use of top draft picks on pitchers while the club added power from MLB castaways like Andruw Jones and Casey McGehee. Though Rakuten inked Kevin Youkilis to replace the departed McGehee, says Newman, filling in for Tanaka figures to be an impossibility. 

As we pass another night without learning where Tanaka will land, let's look at some notes from the American League:

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


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