The Yankees were among five teams to formally place a bid for Masahiro Tanaka this week with nearly all bids coming in around six years and more than $100 million. In addition to the Yankees, the Dodgers, White Sox, Cubs, and Diamondbacks have all reportedly made an offer for the Japanese right-hander with the deadline for bidding coming this Friday, January 24th, at 5:00 pm.
According to Nikkan, a daily sports newspaper in Japan, the Yankees and Dodgers have made "equivalent offers". Because translating from Japanese to English is a science that extends beyond my capabilities, I'm not sure if that means the two teams have bid exactly the same amount for Tanaka or if they bid an amount on par with Nikkan's report of the Diamondbacks' six-year/$120 million offer. The Angels were previously rumored to be in competition for Tanaka's services, but owner Arte Moreno says that it is unlikely they'd be able to fit him into the team's budget.
MLB Trade Rumors speculates that the negotiating process is nearing the stage where the only remaining question is which team Tanaka will ultimately choose between now and Friday's deadline. It would be nice for there to be some kind of indication of what the Yankees decided to bid between now and then, which could come now that the majority of interested teams have put together an offer. If Nikkan is correct about the Diamondbacks' bid, the result will not be any less than six years and $120 million. It's always possible that a team drastically outbid themselves in the process, and it's not unreasonable to think that may have happened based on how badly each team seems to want the right-handed pitcher to join their team.
The Yankees were the odds-on favorites to land Tanaka two days ago in the world of sports betting, but that obviously has little to do with what the ultimate results are. It's possible that some other factor besides money will be the deciding factor for Tanaka when deciding where to make his new home in the United States, and all we can do in the mean time is wait and hope that he feels like putting on pinstripes in 2014.
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