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SnakeBytes: Your weekly Tanakamania update

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Exactly eight days left - the deadline is Friday afternoon - so quite possibly, the next update in this saga could be the final announcement of who has won Masahiro Tanaka's heart. It's just like The Bachelor! Only with fewer roses... Here are the latest snippets, though solid news has been light.

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Koji Watanabe
  • [AZ Central] 1-on-1 with Ken Kendrick - This might explain why things have been so quiet. "His representation asked when we started, and we respect it and we’re going to continue to maintain complete confidentiality. For me to comment on what our chances are is a pure guess. We followed the process and we’re going to keep doing it. "
  • [New York Post] Steinbrenner gushes over Tanaka; has spoken with agent - "Steinbrenner, here at the Major League Baseball owners’ meetings at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort, wouldn’t even address a question of whether a Yankees contingent met with Tanaka during the right-hander’s recent visit to the United States. Yet Steinbrenner made clear how badly the Yankees want to add Tanaka, whom they scouted extensively last season, to their starting rotation."
  • [ESPN LA] Would Dodgers steal Tanaka from the desperate Yankees? - "If the Dodgers do end up with the right-hander.. it would tell us that the Yankees are no longer the Yankees. The Dodgers are now the Yankees. Their stadium just happens to have palm trees running along it instead of a subway line."
  • [Bovada] MLB Baseball Player Prop Betting - the Yankees are currently rated as favorites by the sports book, with the Dodgers next in line. The Diamondbacks are ranked sixth, which seems about right. If we don't get him, it would be okay if the Yankees do, but I'm really in "anybody but the Dodgers" territory there. Here's the full list:
    - New York Yankees 3/2
    - Los Angeles Dodgers 11/4
    - Seattle Mariners 5/1
    - Chicago Cubs 7/1
    - Boston Red Sox 10/1
    - Arizona Diamondbacks 12/1
    - Texas Rangers 15/1
    - Los Angeles Angels 15/1
    - Toronto Blue Jays 18/1
    - Chicago White Sox 18/1
  • However, looks like we might be able to cross off both the Red Sox and Angels. Reports indicate than Boston did not meet with Tanaka, nor did Anaheim. But might the Rangers be a dark horse? They may be forced into action, with the news that starter Derek Holland "will probably miss half of next season"... after tripping over his dog.
  • [RegisterCitizen[ Masahiro Tanaka’s team really needs him, for financial reasons - "Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese pitcher who went 24-0 last year, is headed for a major payday in the United States. Hiroshi Mikitani, the Internet billionaire whose company has rights to Tanaka, won’t fare nearly as well." A look at things from the Rakuten Golden Eagles side.
  • [SB Nation] 10 days of Tanaka: Which teams are still in contention? - Masahiro Tanaka has just ten more days before he must agree to a deal with a major league team or return to Japan for another year. Where does he stand as of today?
  • [NJ.com] 5 concerns about Masahiro Tanaka - Overpaid? Overhyped? Overused? Another version of overused? And more about his wife. I guess that's five. Loosely.
  • [MLB.com] Other free-agent hurlers will benefit from Masahiro Tanaka signing - "Tanaka is going to sign for an amount of money and a number of years that will do nothing to depress the cost of pitching... And all but one of the clubs pursuing Tanaka will be disappointed, making each of them highly motivated to find pitching alternatives. Far from being pure tedium, waiting for Tanaka to decide on a North American employer could be a very worthwhile exercise for at least some of the currently unemployed free-agent starters."
  • [New York Post] Meet the pop star who could steer Tanaka to L.A. - that would be his wife, who is already a star in her own right back home, in the J-pop world. Seems her goal is to be on the West Coast somewhere, though it's more a "goal" than a requirement, it appears. So, the sooner that big earthquake comes, the better...
  • [U.S.S. Mariner] The Sure-Fire Way To Get Masahiro Tanaka Signed - "For much of the first part of the meeting, the Mariners should all but ignore Masahiro Tanaka entirely. They should engage the others in conversation, and recite lighthearted, rehearsed storytelling to make them feel at ease. At one point Jack Zduriencik should take a phone call and say, "sorry, one minute, it’s Ervin’s agent." He should talk for at least 12 minutes." Someone should send this to the Dodgers.