It looks like the offseason-long Masahiro Tanaka saga is finally coming to an end. The Japanese right-hander will decide on a team by this Friday, and it looks like he will command a six- or seven-year contract that will pay him over $100 million.
According to a report from Nikkan Sports in Japan, Tanaka recently received formal offers from five teams--the Yankees, Cubs, White Sox, Diamondbacks and Dodgers--and nearly all of them made an offer worth at least six years and $100 million. The report notes that the D-Backs made a six-year, $120 million offer, while conflicting reports say that the Cubs are either the favorite or long shot in the Tanaka sweepstakes.
At this point, it seems like Tanaka will end up with one of those five teams, but surprise teams could always swoop in at the eleventh hour with an offer he can't refuse. An executive who is pursuing Tanaka says that he's "not sure how much the value of offers have changed since they initially went in", and that agent Casey Close "has kept the entire process under a pretty tight seal". The executive says that he believes the Astros met with Tanaka while he was in the US last week, but is unsure if they ended up making a formal offer.
Because reports out of Japan have often been proved inaccurate, it's always important to take each story with a grain of salt. While the D-Backs, Cubs, White Sox, Dodgers and Yankees definitely seem like good fits for Tanaka, things can change extremely quickly when the stakes are this high.