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SnakeBytes: Tanakamania at the half-way point

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Two weeks yesterday since Masahiro Tanaka was posted, and two weeks tomorrow until the decision has to be made. It's probably going to go to the wire, but here's your weekly round-up of Tanakanews.

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Koji Watanabe

Diamondbacks related

  • [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:

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."