The Rakuten Eagles could make an announcement about Masahiro Tanaka soon.
Tanaka is currently away in Tokyo making appearances at events today and tomorrow, according to Japanese media reports, including Nikkan Sports. While Tanaka said he has yet to hear back from Eagles management since he informed the team of his desire to pitch in Major League Baseball next season, it’s expected that the Eagles will inform Tanaka of their decision at their next meeting.
Since Tanaka could have more events beginning Dec. 26, the belief in Japan is that an announcement on Tanaka could come on Dec. 24 or Dec. 25. The deadline for the Eagles to decide whether to make Tanaka available through the posting system is Feb. 1, though it isn’t expected they would drag things out anywhere close to that date.
Tanaka, a 25-year-old ace in Japan, wants to pitch in MLB. Several major league teams project him as an immediate frontline starter and are eagerly anticipating his arrival. If posted, Tanaka would be the best pitcher on the market, so free agent starters Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez want his situation resolved quickly so their markets can move forward.
On Christmas, they could all get an answer.