Updated 07:04 AM EST, Sun, Feb 28, 2021

Masahiro Tanaka Wants to Play in 2014 MLB Season, Asks Rakuten Eagles to Allow Him to Make the Big Move

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Masahiro Tanaka wants to move to Major League Baseball in 2014 after MLB reached a new posting agreement with the Nippon Professional Baseball.

Tanaka, who has been on the radar of several deep-pocketed teams in the past weeks, said that he has already talked to Rakuten Eagles President Yozo Tachibana, informing that team about his desire to make the big jump to the Major League.

The 25-year-old Tanaka caught the attention of several MLB teams after an impressive regular-season performance with the Eagles in which the right-hander posted a 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA.

"I informed my team that I would like them to allow me to test my abilities in Major League Baseball next season," Tanaka said, The Associated Press reported via ESPN.

However, the Eagles and President Tachibana remained firm on their previous stance on the Tanaka situation. The team, who holds the rights to Tanaka until after the 2015 season, doesn't want to let Tanaka go this year.

"We told him he is very important to us and we'd like him to stay," Tachibana said in a statement.

The new posting agreement also reportedly irked Eagles officials, who are planning to set another meeting with Tanaka in the next few days.

USA Today reported that the Eagles were previously willing to let Tanaka take his talent to the Major League, but they backed off after the new posting agreement was signed.

Under the new rule, the Eagles will receive only a maximum of $20 million from the team that would nab the service of the highly-coveted pitcher. The Eagles reportedly voted against the new agreement during the balloting involving 12 Japanese teams on Monday.

Under the previous rule that was in effect when pitchers Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka were posted by MLB teams, there is no limit in terms of payment and the team that submitted the highest bid for the player will have exclusive negotiating rights.

Several teams, including the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs, are highly interested in the right-hander pitcher and they are expected to bid $20 million. All teams that submitted maximum bids or all teams that tied for the highest bid amount can negotiate with the player.

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