The Rakuten Golden Eagles are trying to convince Masahiro Tanaka to stay in Japan

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Masahiro Tanaka wants to play in the United States. To do that, his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, have to agree to post him. Under the new posting rules agreed to by MLB and NPB, Rakuten stands to get $20 million, which is way less than posting teams used to get. And they’d lose their best player and top draw in the deal.

In light of that, this is not terribly surprising:

 

The nuance to all of this, of course, is that Tanaka has asked to be posted and that, while Rakuten is not under any obligation to honor is wishes, NPB teams try to honor such wishes when possible for general goodwill purposes. They’d love to have agreement with Tanaka if they can. But they’d also like to keep his services given that losing him will get them only $20 million.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.