Masahiro Tanaka is wasting no time lining things up for his move to America. On the same day the Rakuten Eagles announced they would post the pitcher, Tanaka reportedly chose an agent to represent him in his sure-to-be-lucrative negotiations with MLB teams.
And Tanaka’s choice of agent could be really good news for two teams in particular.
Per the Japanese website Sponichi (via Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times), Tanaka has hired Casey Close to represent him. Arn Tellem and Mark Pieper were also reportedly on the Tanaka agent short list but ultimately he went with Close.
The choice of Close could potentially be really good news for the Los Angeles Dodgers and/or New York Yankees. Close already represents several players on both teams, including the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira.
Both the Dodgers and Yankees are believed to be on the list of teams ready to go all-out after Tanaka. The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are also on that list. The Texas Rangers likely are not after their move to wildly overpay Shin-Soo Choo.
Of course the choice of Close as agent guarantees nothing. It could be a total coincidence that Tanaka picked an agent who already has strong relationships with the Dodgers and Yankees. It’s way too early to assume this whole thing is going to boil down to an L.A. vs. New York bidding war.
It’s way too early for Red Sox and Cubs fans who covet Tanaka to begin cursing the dang Yankees and darn Dodgers.
But yeah, Tanaka is probably going to the Yankees or Dodgers. Should be fun watching the numbers go up. Like one of those electronic billboards that keeps a running tally of the national debt.