Report: Masahiro Tanaka is the Diamondbacks’ No. 1 target

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After pulling off a three-way trade yesterday to land slugger Mark Trumbo, the Diamondbacks are currently looking for an impact starting pitcher via free agency and trade. And FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that they have one name at the top of their list.

Of course, we still don’t know if the Rakuten Golden Eagles will actually post Tanaka. And even if the Diamondbacks make the max bid of $20 million in the new posting process, they’ll face plenty of competition from other teams in order to sign him. The amount of teams in the mix could net him a contract around $100 million when it’s all said and done. That’s a big price for someone who is unproven in the United States, but Tanaka is only 25 years old, and as opposed to signing a free agent like Ervin Santana, he’s not attached to draft pick compensation.

In the interim, the Diamondbacks will continue to monitor alternatives. Rosenthal reported a little while ago that they have met with the agents for both Santana and Matt Garza.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.