As Masahiro Tanaka awaits a nine-figure contract with a major league club, the commissioner’s office is expected to review the winning bid to ensure his Japanese club does not get more than the $20 million promised under a new agreement between Major League Baseball and its Japanese counterpart.
The president of Tanaka’s Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, said at a news conference this week that Tanaka wishes to make donations to improve the Eagles’ stadium and its facilities for players and fans.
The agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball expressly prohibits a Japanese club from getting any value other than the so-called posting fee, directly or indirectly, including through the player, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.
“We are intent on enforcing all the provisions of the agreement,” Courtney said.
The Dodgers, Angels, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers are among the MLB clubs interested in Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 earned-run average for Rakuten last season. The bidding opened Thursday and could extend through Jan. 24.