Tanaka will not be posted according to the New York Times?

Koji Watanabe

The reports on whether or not Tanaka will be posted have bounced back and forth throughout the whole process, but have we finally reached a conclusion?

This morning, the New York Times ran an article saying that "several Japanese newspapers" reported that the Rakuten Golden Eagles would not allow top starter Masahiro Tanaka to be posted. The new posting system is a kick in the face to NPB teams given the new maximum posting limit of $20 million, so from Rakuten's standpoint, it doesn't make much sense to post Tanaka a year before they have to, since they can reap full value from him by having him on their team next year. The Times says that Rakuten will offer to double or triple his $4 million salary from 2013 to get him to stay, but it doesn't really sound like much of a debate between the two sides since Tanaka can't really pitch anywhere else if the Eagles refuse to post him, unless he was to hold out.

If true, the Yankees would have to turn to inferior overpaid sources for rotation help, and that would not be pretty. They might just decline to pursue any of the big-name starters since all have significant gaps in their game that could quickly turn their contracts into albatrosses.

Take these reports with a grain of salt though; the Times did not actually link to any newspaper aside from trying to interpret a Sports Hochi report without letting readers actually see the article and try to translate it themselves. Some of MLB's leading reporters have contacted their sources and they seem skeptical that the Times report is accurate as well:

Rosenthal and Heyman really know their stuff and have good sources, so I'm inclined to trust them more than a random Times reporter. I think this is far from settled, and I don't quite buy the unlinked Times report just yet.

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