Updates on Masahiro Tanaka from December 26, 2013:
- The MLB sent out notices to all thirty teams on the 25th. Negotiations can begin at 8:00am (EST) on the 26th (10pm on the 26th in Japan). Teams will have until January 24 at 5:00pm (EST) to finalize a deal. [Sponichi 12/26/2013]
- Tanaka is apparently planning to help the Eagles out with support and donations. "Tanaka said to me, 'I want to give back as much I can to the team, fans, Miyagi, and Tohoku for all the support they gave me. Beginning with the stadium and facilities, I want to do what I can, in terms of things like support and donations, to make sure the Eagles are a team the Tohoku fans can continue to love,'" Tachibana said. [Nikkan Sports 12/26/2013, Sponichi 12/26/2013] ... Sanspo also has the following quote from Tanaka: "I can not say specifically what right now. I am not thinking right away, but over the long run." [Sanspo 12/26/2013]
- According to Sponichi, the Eagles decided to post Tanaka because they were concerned about their image -- they did not want fans to think they are only in it for the money. Someone connected to the team is quoted as saying, "If we say we cannot let him go at two billion yen, then [people] will say it is all about the money. Our only choice was to let him go." [Sponichi 12/26/2013]
- About fifty members of the media and ten TV cameras were waiting to speak to Tanaka on Wednesday. [Sports Hochi 12/26/2013, Sanspo 12/26/2013]
- Tanaka has reportedly hired Casey Close to represent him. [Sponichi 12/26/2013, Sanspo 12/26/2013]
- Tanaka will be in Tokyo on the 26th and 27th for various events. He will have the day off from the 28th to the 30th. He will be a guest judge for the 64th NHK Kohaku Utagassen on the 31st. He has plans to work out with Takahiro Norimoto in January. [Sponichi 12/26/2013]
Senichi Hoshino's interaction with the media
The organization has decided to let Tanaka go to the Majors.
I believed he would ultimately be allowed to go and I wanted to let him go. We are letting the United States take charge in everything, from diplomacy to defense. That may have been a sticking point. That is probably why it took this long. But, there will be offers from the Majors. I think we should take pride in knowing that player is from Rakuten.
A big presence in Tanaka will be leaving.
This is the most difficult for me. But that is ok. There are no pitchers that can do better than Tanaka, so it will be about how close we can get our pitchers to that.
Are you looking forward to seeing Tanaka succeed in the Majors?
Yes, but right now I can only think about what do to next season. But this is good, this is good news.
Source: Sports Hochi 12/26/2013
Yozo Tachibana's interaction with the media
The upper threshold is two billion yen. There was talk early on that it might reach ten billion.
That is something we could not explain to the stockholders. I think perhaps the only we can do is continue to improve our value by winning championships. However, as I understand it, Tanaka did a lot for us over the years.
What was the biggest factor into the decision?
The things he did for us over the last seven years and how strongly [Hiroshi] Mikitani felt about that.
What was the biggest sticking point?
This system is only about a week old. All things considered, I think the decision was made fairly quickly.
The organization will not be involved in negotiations.
There is no way of knowing how things are going with Tanaka. This is more like free agency than posting.
Will this affect other team transactions?
[Kevin] Youkilis will help the team score more runs, so the team should improve in that regard.
You will not know how negotiations are going, but will you still try to get information?
We will not go looking for the information unless he comes to us with it. As as I said before, this is free agency. This is out of our control.
Source: Sports Hochi 12/26/2013
Masahiro Tanaka's interaction with the media
How did you spend the week since you told the team you wanted to head overseas?
I had fun my own way, I did not really think too deeply about things. I was not really worried.
Were there any changes to your desire to play in the Majors?
When did you start thinking about the Majors?
I was not thinking about it when I first turned pro. It built up over time.
What kind of style do you plan to use in the Majors?
I really have no plans of changing of changing.
What was the most memorable event with the Eagles?
It was probably when the team won the league championship. The league championship.
How do you feel about leaving the organization?
I am not really thinking about the past. It kind of makes me feel sad if I think about it as leaving... So nothing in particular.
Do you have something to say to the Rakuten fans?
You always gave me warm cheers no matter what. I hope you can continue to do that as I move on to the next stage [of my career].
Source: Sponichi 12/26/2013