Latest On Masahiro Tanaka

3:07pm: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that Tanaka's initial preferred cities are Los Angeles, New York and Boston (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Nightengale softens his stance in a pair of new tweets, noting that the Dodgers confirmed their interest but don't want to spend "wildly" or do anything crazy with their bid in order to land Tanaka.

1:04pm: While team president Stan Kasten said in a radio interview yesterday not to predict the Dodgers to land Masahiro Tanaka, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (via Twitter) that the Dodgers have made it known that they will go "all out" to sign the Japanese ace and "certainly won't be outbid."

Of course, because of the new posting agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball, signing Tanaka is no longer simply a matter of outbidding your opponents. Any team that wishes to pay the $20MM posting fee can negotiate with Tanaka as if he were a free agent, and the team would only lose that $20MM if an agreement between the two sides were to be reached. In other words, virtually any team in the Majors can afford to negotiate with Tanaka, and he could have preferences beyond signing for top dollar.

We've heard a great number of teams connected to Tanaka over the past two days, as the right-hander is in Los Angeles at this time meeting with teams face-to-face. In the past 24 hours alone, the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox, Blue Jays and Indians have all been linked to Tanaka.

Adding Tanaka to the mix would give the Dodgers a potentially unrivaled rotation in terms of dominance, as he would join Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu and Dan Haren. The addition of Tanaka would seem to push Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley out of the picture for the Dodgers, though both dealt with injuries in 2013. Billingsley isn't expected back until summer after undergoing Tommy John surgery.


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