Rakuten Eatles president Yozo Tachibana spoke to the media in the United States on Thursday and provided them with the following quotes about Masahiro Tanaka:
From Sports Hochi:
"The biggest thing is that we won this year because of [Tanaka]."
"Everything is being discussed as if it all depends on whether or not he is posted, but the right to choose whether or not to use the system lies with the organization. I have not spoken to him about his desires since last winter. There is an order to this. I need to confirm things with [Tanaka] and then my discussions with the owner will begin."
"The fact that we need to make a decision as soon as possible has not changed."
"I feel if Tanaka agrees to stay, that will be the end of this."
From Nikkan Sports:
"I need to ask him about his schedule and there is also my schedule. I should be back [in Sendai] by at least the 17th. But there I cannot really give an exact date [for when we might meet."
"The organization would like him to stay, that is where I will begin. Whether or not the system is used is a right that lies with us. But we have not spoke to him about since last winter. I will confirm that and then discuss things with the owner."
"I really have no spoken to him. I would like to be completely sincere when speaking to him."
"The more time this takes, the further along we will be with our decisions for the team. We need to make a decision as quickly as possible. That has not changed."
Sports Hochi has posted a portion of Tachibana's conversation with the media:
There are delays to the posting system. Is there a deadline for your decision?
We originally wanted to have a decision a little earlier. We have decisions to make about team and the more time this takes, the deeper we will be into the decisions. It will make things a lot more difficult.
The new system will likely be announced on the 17th. When do you think you will meet with Tanaka?
Again, we plan to wait until we receive an official document. Until then, there are no plans.
Will you meet as soon as an announcement is made?
Well, it will depend on his schedule and my schedule. I am not sure when it will happen.
What do you think about your chances?
I really have not spoken to him [so I do not know]. I will be sincere in my discussions with him.
Will you be meeting Hiroshi Mikitani as soon as you return?
Of course. I speak to him on pretty much a daily basis, so right away.
Source: Sports Hochi 12/13/2013
When the media approached Yomiuri Giants' Chairman Tsuneo Watanabe for comments on Thursday, the topic of the posting system and Tanaka was broached. It led to the following quote from Watanabe: "Ma-chan (Tanaka) might not get the two billion yen, but he is a good player. I think he is worth over one billion yen [a year]. No losses, there really are not a lot of cases like this. [Hiroshi] Mikitani should just pay Ma-kun about one billion. Maybe he can persuade like that. It is what I would do."
Watanabe also said, "[The transfer] is high. If they feel it is low, then they should just keep him. They have to be prepared to make that kind of decision. This is an international competition."
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/13/2013