Updated 07:40 AM EST, Sat, Feb 27, 2021

MLB Free Agent 2014 Update: New York Yankees Go All In for Masahiro Tanaka; Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers Will be in Mix

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Masahiro Tanaka is now officially available for posting after the Rakuten Golden Eagles announced that they will allow their ace pitcher to make the big move to Major League Baseball.

Despite the sudden change in the posting agreement between the MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball, the New York Yankees remain as the favorite to sign the 25-year-old pitcher as they are expected to go all in for Tanaka.

Before the new posting agreement was reached, the Yankees were considered as the runaway favorite to acquire Tanaka because they have the ability to make the highest bid to acquire an exclusive negotiation rights to the highly-coveted pitcher.

The new posting agreement limited the maximum bidding amount to $20 million, giving teams that could offer that amount the right to talk with Tanaka about a possible contract.

Now that the Yankees are facing challenges from other deep-pocketed teams in the bidding war for the Japanese pitcher, the New York Daily News noted that the Yanks have no choice but to offer a huge contract to Tanaka, who is expected to command a contract in the $100-million range.

Despite spending a huge amount by signing big name free agents this offseason, the Yankees are reportedly willing to go over the $189 million luxury tax threshold again as long as it is for the Japanese pitcher. The Yankees have yet to complete their starting rotation and signing Tanaka will definitely boost their rotation next season.

Aside from the Yankees, the several small and big market teams are expected to make bid for Tanaka's service.

Recent reports suggested that the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be the biggest threat to the Yankees in the bidding war for the right-handed pitcher.

The Dodgers are reportedly planning to make a strong bid to acquire the highly-coveted pitcher, but the L.A. Times reported that general manager Ned Colletti remains mum about the club's plan.

On the other hand, David Kaplan of CSN Chicago revealed that the Cubs are serious in their pursuit of Tanaka.

Despite knowing that it will be very difficult for them to convince the Japanese pitcher to play in Chicago, the Cubs are ready to offer the most lucrative contract to Tanaka to outbid their competitors.

"I just spoke with an MLB source who believes Cubs will not be outbid on Tanaka. He also said convincing Tanaka to come to Chicago will be hard," Kaplan posted on his Twitter account.

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