Hiro on hold: Tanaka sweepstakes hits snag

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
1:00
PM ET
TanakaKoji Watanabe/Getty ImagesWill we have to wait two more years for the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes?
NEW YORK -- There was no guarantee the Yankees would have wound up with Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese right-hander who went 24-0 for the Rakuten Golden Eagles this season, had they entered into a bidding war with what was sure to be a good number of suitors this winter. But now, it looks as though no major league team may wind up with the highly touted 25-year-old in 2014, now that talks between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball have hit an impasse over a new posting system.

You can read the full story from MLB.com's Barry Bloom here.

But it has been no secret the Yankees were very interested in making a bid on the 25-year-old Tanaka, who was expected to command the kind of money that Yu Darvish received a couple of years ago. Even Derek Jeter, who generally pleads ignorance of players he hasn't seen personally, gave Tanaka an endorsement Thursday night at the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation dinner at Chelsea Piers.

"From what I understand, he is the real deal," said Jeter, who got the lowdown on Tanaka from his buddy and former teammate Andruw Jones, who played with Tanaka for Rakuten this season. "So of course, I would like to get as many good players as we can."

If MLB and NPB can't come to an agreement, Tanaka will have to pitch two more seasons in Japan before becoming eligible for free agency.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 22
RBIB. McCann 71
RB. Gardner 84
OPSB. Gardner .760
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.77
SOM. Tanaka 139