This Masahiro Tanaka situation has gone unresolved far longer than expected. At this point, it seems possible that teams won’t know until mid-to-late January whether they’re going to have Tanaka or have to look elsewhere for a significant rotation addition. Not ideal, but Tanaka is trying for a resolution sooner rather than later.
With the new posting system in place, Tanaka has met with his Japanese team to express a continued desire to pitch in the United States. All that’s left, it seems, is for team president Yozo Tachibana to decide whether to give Tanaka what he wants.
Writing for the L.A. Times, Dylan Hernandez does a nice job explaining the public pressure in Japan that might lead Rakuten to post Tanaka. Hernandez compares the situation to soccer players in America:
Yes, it’s kind of neat that soccer fans in the Los Angeles area can watch Landon Donovan play for the Galaxy almost every other weekend at the Home Depot Center. But with the exception of die-hard Galaxy fans — however many there are — most American observers would prefer for Donovan to be testing himself against the best in the world somewhere in Europe.
Tanaka wants to test himself in the big leagues, and it seems the Yankees want the same thing.