- [AZ Central] Diamondbacks still waiting to talk to Tanaka - Kevin Towers: "We don’t know if it’s about dollars or location or the chance to be competitive. Nobody has really met with him so I don’t think any of us have any idea. I think we’re just guessing. If they come out and say it’s going to be the club that spends the most money on him, then we’re probably not the front-runner. But everything right now is pure speculation by the media."
- [MLB] D-backs have 'plan of attack' for recruiting Tanaka - More from Towers. "I probably don't want to divulge a lot of those, kind of what our plan of attack is and how we sell ourselves or how we maybe separate ourselves from the larger-market clubs. But we've thought a lot about it and prepared for it. When that point in time comes, I think we certainly have a plan of attack."
- [FoxSports] As training camp nears, 1 item remains on D-backs' still-to-do list - "If Tanaka goes elsewhere, the D-backs' fallback position appears to be to stand pat, to bring back the same members of the rotation and possibly add to it from within with top prospect right-hander Archie Bradley. The other top-of-the-market free agents starters are overpriced at this point of the process, the D-backs believe, and not worth the money they are asking. That may change as the dominos begin to fall after Tanaka signs."
- [TSN] Ferguson: Tanaka likely headed to Mariners or Diamondbacks - "I was convinced he would sign with the Texas Rangers or New York Yankees, with the LA Dodgers and Boston Red Sox being outside possibilities. Now if I had to make a wager, I'd say the Seattle Mariners or Arizona Diamondbacks."
- Perhaps helping the D-backs cause, the $20m posting fee due from the winner won't all have to be paid this year. Some will be deferred until next season:
Interesting tidbit on new posting system: Per sources, the $20M fee will be paid in two installments - $13M the first year, $7M the second.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2014
Not Diamondbacks related
- ]NYTimes] Masahiro Tanaka Reportedly Arrives in U.S. for Talks - "The pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka moved into a new stage as Japanese news media outlets reported that Tanaka had arrived in the United States on Wednesday to begin meeting with teams interested in signing him."
- [CBSSports] Tanaka Derby: Meetings begin; Cubs, Dodgers, many others are in - "Superstar free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka kicked off his free agency in earnest with clandestine meetings Wednesday and will see as many as a dozen or so teams by Friday in the Los Angeles area. "
- [NESN] Tanaka Expected to Meet With Cubs, White Sox in Chicago - "The Masahiro Tanaka World Tour is swinging through the Windy City. Tanaka will meet with the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox this week, according to Luke Stuckmeyer of CSNChicago.com."
- [CBS New York] Rakuten Teammate Raves About ‘Bulldog’ Masahiro Tanaka - "I watch him pitch at 88-89 or 90-91, and then I’ll see him jump up to 98-99 when he needs it... He was 140 pitches in and he needed a strikeout, and he jumped it from that 90 to about 98-99 and punched the guy out. It’s just impressive watching the guy, his mentality and his know-how on pitching, especially being so young." 98-99? Hmm. Not sure I believe this, but it's still an eye-witness report from someone familiar with Tanaka.
- [ESPN] A PITCHf/x look at Masahiro Tanaka - "The slider, which is regarded as Tanaka's best out pitch, is probably closest to Zack Greinke's in terms of velocity and movement... We are working with a very small sample size of pitches taken from four years ago [but] the numbers show that he has an incredible ability to spin the ball, creating a ton of movement from a low release point."